A young dad is desperate for a new heart which he says will give him a second chance at life.
Morecambe dad-of-two Peter Wakefield, just 29-years-old, is on the urgent transplant list and has been told a heart transplant is his only option.
Peter, of Oxcliffe Road, who is in hospital in Wythenshawe, said: “I so wish I wasn’t in this situation, I would do anything to make it back to normal again but my heart has had enough and without this dopamine I’m on, the doctors said I wouldn’t survive a year at home.”
Peter became ill back in April with symptoms of a flu and cough and subsequent tests revealed a virus had attacked his heart leaving him with only 25% function.
He has now been on the urgent transplant list for 11 weeks waiting for a suitable donor.
He said: “I thought I just had flu and a cough and didn’t think anything of it. One day I was at work and my boss said to me ‘Have you been fighting because your face is swollen.’ I laughed it off but it happened again the following weekend, it was so bad I looked like the Elephant Man. I rang 111 and visited the same day health centre and they gave me some piriton for an allergic reaction and sent me home.
“The next morning I was coughing blood up and rang 111 again, they told me to go to hospital.
“I went to A and E because heart problems are hereditary in my family.
“They did tests and found what they thought was a blood clot or pneumonia on my lung.
“Then they found a blood clot on my heart, which was dilated. My heart is only functioning at 25% because of a virus that has attacked my heart.
“My body has tried to get rid of the virus by sending adrenaline but this has destroyed my heart, stretched it until it is irreparable.
“I’ve got a saggy heart.
“The hospital have no idea where the virus came from.
“I started off in Lancaster then they sent me to Blackpool to have a look at other options including a mini defibrillator which starts your heart again if it stops. They cancelled the operation twice because I was too sick.
“I was then transferred to Wythenshawe.
“All the test confirmed that my heart was failing. A transplant co ordinator came round to me and explained that I have been accepted for a heart transplant, they explained everything to me about the pro’s and con’s about the operation, and after getting my head around it I signed my life away basically, saying if the worst can happen, let it be.”
Paul, 29, of Oxcliffe Road, Morecambe, has a son George, five, and a stepson Niall, who is three.
Paul worked part-time in a caravan park as a maintenance man before he became too ill to continue.
He said: “I’ve always been busy working and have never been ill, this is my first time in hospital.
“I have been bedridden for 15 weeks now. The drugs they give you stimulate the heart to pump at a better rate and they have made such a difference. I’m able to walk properly now, although I get short of breath.
“My family, who live in Lancaster, were all shocked when they found out I needed a transplant.
“I’ve got three brothers, one sister and one step-sister and they all have to be checked out.
“I will also do the same with my son.
“I have dilated cardiomyopathy and my dad died of something similar.
“It’s a good thing they caught it when they did because my dad died in his mid-forties and his dad died of it at the same age.
“My family get down to see me once or twice a week and I’ve got uncles, aunties and cousins living in Wigan.
“It goes on height, weight and blood type, I’m O positive so I can only receive an O positive heart.
“There are 10 people on the ward all waiting for a heart.
“The transplant list goes nationwide across the UK and if a heart becomes available in the area it will come to me.
“The drugs help me become more capable but they only last so long, however there are other drugs I can be given.
“I get pretty fed up but I’m at least able to get up and about now.
“I’m wishing I could be at home all the time which probably doesn’t help but that’s where I want be with my sons and family and friends.
“I will get there eventually. I was hoping to be home for the end of September, as I’m meant to be going to a friend’s wedding and its my son’s birthday as well, but I don’t think I will even be home for then.
“My sister has postponed her wedding due to me being in hospital, I feel bad for her having too do this, but she said she wants me there which is understandable.
“My mum took it well but she was upset about it, she couldn’t believe it saying that it should be her going before me but I kept positive for her and said I will be okay, I’m in the best hands now.
“The staff and doctors here are unbelievable, they will go out of their way for you and do their best to keep you as comfortable as possible.
“I have spoken to ex-transplant patients who have the same blood group as me and they waited for 15 weeks before they got that special gift, and a second chance on life which I am still waiting for at the moment.”