I first found out that I had cardiomyopathy when I was in my early thirties. My heart decided to go into arrhythmia one Sunday afternoon so it was clear that something wasn’t right.

Once I had been diagnosed, I was put on medication and I thought that would be the end of it. Things could not have been further from the truth as I was to later discover that I needed a heart transplant in order to achieve a longer life.

For context, my brother had already had a heart transplant in August 2016 but I never believed that the same fate awaited me. We both suffered from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy but have never been given a strict definition of our condition. The fact remained that we would both need surgery in order to survive.

I was admitted to Harefield on Thursday 21st February and was fortunate enough to only wait four weeks for a suitable donor. I had my surgery on 22 March and am now at home recovering after ten weeks in hospital.

The difference is immeasurable. I now have a working heart and my recovery is going well. I cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough for what they have done. Their level of care and expertise is phenomenal. I also think about my donor a lot and I will write to their family one day to express my eternal gratitude for the wonderful gift I have been given. 

The advice I would give to anyone contemplating a heart transplant is that you are swapping your problems for a different set of problems. There is the fear of rejection and the constant taking of drugs but you have to remember that you have been given a second chance, a second lease of life and, for that, I will always be thankful.

I still can’t quite comprehend what has happened to me. It almost feels a bit surreal yet, here I am, alive and well and ready for the next chapter in my life. My perspectives have changed most definitely and I no longer seem to worry about things. I feel ready for the next challenges in my life and have nothing but praise for the level of care I received during my time in the Harefield. The nurses and doctors are an amazing group of people and their commitment to each patient is without comparison.

As you can see from the picture on the left, you have to be careful of some the side effects from the drugs!

Read more of Dave's heart transplant story at countingbeats.home.blog/