Leading the world with a new transplant programme: DCD Transplantation

In response to the worldwide shortage of donor hearts for transplantation, a research team at Royal Papworth Hospital, supported by Royal Papworth Hospital Charity has developed a new technique that significantly increases the number of hearts available for transplantation.

The research shows that heart transplants from a new group of potential donors – known as DCD transplantation or ‘Non-Beating Heart Transplantation’ – could save hundreds of lives internationally as the heart transplant waiting list continues to grow. This innovative technique had enabled surgeons at Royal Papworth Hospital to utilise donor hearts which were previously considered too damaged to transplant.

Unfortunately every year, hundreds of patients still die through the lack of available organs for transplantation. This new procedure has enabled Royal Papworth Hospital to increase the number of people receiving a heart transplant at Royal Papworth Hospital by almost 40% over the last four years.

 Each and every life saved through this ground-breaking procedure has been made possible through the generous donations of Royal Papworth Hospital supporters and we can only continue with further charitable support.

Amanda's Story

Amanda's life was changed forever when she suddenly became ill in December 2018 with what she believed was just the flu. 

A few days later, Amanda’s daughter decided to call 111 as her Mum was becoming increasingly poorly and an ambulance was sent to take Amanda to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. After a short stay in Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Amanda began to deteriorate and the decision was made for her to be transferred to Royal Papworth before Christmas. During the ambulance journey to Papworth, Amanda suffered a cardiac arrest but fortunately doctors managed to stabilise her again to prepare her to be put onto the transplant list.

After spending Christmas in Hospital, Amanda was fitted with a VAD which allowed her to become stronger ready for the transplant. In early January, Amanda underwent a DCD Heart Transplant and is now recovering well at home surrounded by friends and family.

Amanda tells us:

I want my story to be used and shared widely to promote awareness of the DCD programme and to ensure funds continue to be raised to enable this incredible procedure to help save more lives like mine

With your help, Royal Papworth Hospital can give the 'gift of life' to more people waiting for a donor heart

The hospital can only continue to offer this pioneering surgery to its patients in the future by securing further charitable funds; to date, there is no national programme to support this heart transplantation technique and its further development is therefore reliant on funding from charitable sources.

With the transplant list continuing to grow, your support is vital and will bring more hope to those on the waiting list.

Donations for this appeal will be paid into Royal Papworth Hospital Charity's DCD Transplantation Fund (P8548) where they will be used to fund equipment for DCD surgery, training and education for Royal Papworth Hospital staff and further research into DCD surgery at Royal Papworth Hospital.

DCD Transplants Performed To Date- 62