Eric's Story

Meet Eric who is one of our incredible fundraisers. Eric received a heart transplant at Royal Papworth Hospital in 2013 and has been tirelessly fundraising for the Charity ever since. Here is Eric telling us his story..

“Each year Christmas reminds me of the extraordinary gift I received five years ago at Royal Papworth Hospital – a new heart. Without the expert and dedicated care from Papworth’s staff, and the incredibly generous spirit of my donor and his family, I wouldn’t be here to continue celebrating Christmas with my loving and supportive family.

I never expected to need a heart transplant. To the contrary, I was a fit and healthy runner all my life. But then over a period of ten weeks my heart became so weak, due to a genetic defect, that I went from being a marathon runner to finding it a major challenge to climb a flight of stairs. Fortunately, I was referred to Royal Papworth and after a long wait at home and then in Papworth’s Mallard Ward, a transplant coordinator came to me in the middle of the night saying “wake up Eric, we think we’ve found you a heart.” A day later I woke up again, in intensive care, with a new heart and a new life. In a picture my wife took that day, you can see a big smile on my face because it was so amazing to feel my new strong heart beating in my chest. So strong, that I couldn’t sleep the first night!

Since then my new heart has given me the opportunity to participate in many very special Royal Papworth events. I was one of the six Papworth transplant recipients who ran the 2016 Chariots of Fire race in Cambridge, which exclusively benefited Papworth. I’ve also had the pleasure to be part of the Papworth British Transplant Games team, which has won the heart and lung trophy for three years running. And this year I helped create a long-distance charity event called Walk the Bryson Line – 569 miles from Cape Wrath Scotland to Bognor Regis. With the very kind support of Bill Bryson, we raised over £30,000 pounds for Papworth, plus more for other good charities.

Royal Papworth Hospital is a truly special place, both for the world-class, life-saving work it does and for the extraordinary community of staff and patients that it inspires. Happy Christmas to all!”