Daphne's testimonial for Papworth

THREE years ago Daphne Hurst was given three days to live.Today, she is fighting fit after receiving a life-saving heart transplant from Papworth Hospital.

THREE years ago Daphne Hurst from Hasketon was given three days to live.

Today, she is fighting fit after receiving a life-saving heart transplant from Papworth Hospital.

She has nothing but praise for the hospital near Cambridge, the region's centre for heart transplants, which has just come under fire after a rise in the number of patient deaths.

Heart transplants have been suspended at the hospital after seven of the 20 adult heart transplant patients have died within 30 days.

Mrs Hurst, 70, of Tymmes Place, went into Papworth hospital to have an artificial valve fitted but ended up having a heart transplant.

She said: “I only went in for a valve replacement but ended up collapsing and had to be taken to intensive care. I had a bad heart all my life and did not know. It never stopped me doing anything but I had a small heart so it had to work hard.

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“They told my husband that without a heart transplant, I would be lucky to make it past the weekend. He went home as they told him not to stay that night. As soon as he got home, they told him that there was a new heart available for me so he went back in.

“I feel I am the luckiest girl alive. They found me a heart in six hours which I think is some sort of record.”

Mrs Hurst said the staff at the hospital were caring and attentive and she had a nurse at the end of her bed at all times.

The mother of one, who became a member of Heartbeat East Suffolk, a cardiac support group, two months ago, added: “I could not find fault with their treatment. I would say to anyone in the same situation not to be afraid. I think it is a wonderful place.”

The Healthcare Commission is now carrying out a review of procedures at Papworth, which is expected to take up to two weeks.

Have you had some life-saving surgery you want to tell us about? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk?