More than 50 former patients, charity supporters and NHS staff joined the Charity for the launch of our new Harefield Transplant Appeal in Harefield Hospital’s historic concert hall on Thursday 10 May

Ross Lydall, Chief News Correspondent and Health Editor at the London Evening Standard, led the event with an enlightening interview with André Simon (left middle), pioneering surgeon and Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation and Left Ventricle Assist Devices at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Simon spoke about his career to date, touching upon highlights including transplanting Britain’s youngest patient with an artificial heart. Several former patients came along to hear from the man who saved their lives, including Emily (left).

When asked by Mr Lydall about his approach to treating patients deemed too risky for transplantation at other NHS Trusts, Mr Simon said: “We are pretty indifferent to whether the patient is risky. We will try.”

The event officially marked the launch of our Harefield Transplant Appeal, which aims to raise £500,000 to fund organ care systems, which keep donated organs viable for up to 10 hours, as opposed to just three using traditional methods. This means organs can come from further away and arrive in the best possible condition. They also give medical staff more time to prepare the patient and perform intricate transplant operations. Harefield Hospital receives no funding from the NHS for this equipment, which allows far more successful transplantations to take place.

Talks from Artificial Heart Specialist, Dr Mark Bowles and Transplant Services Manager Tracey Baker followed the interview with Mr Simon, mapping out the history of left ventricle assist devices (artificial hearts) and transplantation at Harefield – a world-leading specialist in the field.

For more information about this vital appeal and to donate, click here >>