A record number of adult heart transplants were performed at NHS Golden Jubilee in 2022-23.
Specialists at the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS) carried out 40 life-saving operations – a record number in one year for the national service.
Innovation in technique and advancements in technology, such as an organ care system to allow surgeons to transplant hearts from donors who die after circulatory death, have increased the availability of hearts for transplant and boosted the success rate which is currently at 95% for 90-day survival.
Megan Geddes, 29, from Dalmuir, West Dunbartonshire had a recurring chest infection when she was 13 and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. For the next five years she underwent constant tests and had a defibrillator fitted aged 17. She was referred to the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service at the Golden Jubilee in 2019 for assessment and had a transplant in 2022. She said:
“I’m very grateful to have my transplant so young as I was told that I might not have lived past the age of 35, so I’m extremely grateful for this second chance at life. It’s been a big year for me. I am 100% better and appreciate the little things in life like just singing in the shower.
“When I came round from surgery and had my first echo scan and heard the sound of my new heart beating I couldn’t stop crying. It was really emotional just listening to it because I had never heard a normal heartbeat before.
“I think about my donor every day and I am so grateful to them, and to their family for respecting their organ donation wishes.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The success of the SNAHFS specialist team over the last year has been truly remarkable, marrying their incredible skills with new technology backed by SNP Government investment.
“The SNAHFS team aims to build on this year’s transplant figure which brings the total number to 490 since the first was performed in January 1992, saving more lives – such as Megan’s - than ever before.”
The first 280 operations took place at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary before the service moved to NHS Golden Jubilee in 2008.