Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Transplants: Your stories

Hundreds of readers have responded to the story about 13-year-old Hannah Jones who does not want a heart transplant and says she wants the right to "die with dignity".

Here relatives of people who have had transplants share their stories and experiences.


My son George had a heart transplant six years ago when he was 22 months old.

He is amazing and has a normal life.

He takes two medicines twice a day. It's not much to ask to have him here with us. a transplant is an amazing gift of life.

George Simpson
George Simpson , 7, had a heart transplant at the age of 22 months.

I can understand that she is scared. This is a major decision for a 13- year-old girl to make.

Now George is a brilliant normal child who's almost eight years old. He plays sports like any other child and he goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital for his check-ups.

We would go through the same again without hesitation. Even if we could, we would never reverse that decision.

George had a matter of weeks to live - it was do or die - and now we've got George and we wouldn't have.

I hope Hannah changes her mind - maybe meeting existing transplant recipients could help her to see that a transplant is a new beginning not the end.

What an amazing young woman to have gone through all this.
Aaron Hamilton
Aaron Gray, 12, had a liver and small bowel transplant aged three

I truly believe we choose what we wish to do with our bodies, but at the same time being the parent of a child transplantee I'd be devastated my child was going to die.

Aaron nearly died three times but I'm an optimist. I believe miracles can happen.

He's survived and he's wild and boisterous but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I totally respect Hannah, it's sad that she and her family have had to endure what they have, I have met many kids over the years who have been through so much in their little lives, they never ever cease to amaze me how brave they are!

I hope Hannah's remaining time here is a special time.


Hannah's plight has rekindled a time in our family's life when, in 1999 and for want of a better phase , my wife Debbie and I played God.

Our 12 year-old son Peter (my stepson) had been in remission for some time having "defeated" his cancer when a simple childhood illness revealed that this insidious thing had returned but this time there was to be no tears of joy at its demise.

What seemed like years - but was if facts short months -Peter's tumour was starting to protrude from his chest at an alarming rate and after all of the treatments of the past had been repeated the term surgery was eventually used.

Since Peter's death our perception of life has completely changed
Keith Hobday

If he awoke from the operation to remove the tumour he would probably be on drugs for the rest of his short life along with all the other intrusive apparatus that accompanies that.

At that moment we became God and decided that the last thing that our sweet boy would hear would not be the beep of a machine but his mother's voice and wrapped in her loving arms... which is what occurred on March 8th 2000.

There really is NO competition over quantity versus quality. The look of peace on his face will live with us forever and makes me believe that we did a good thing.

Unlike Hannah, Peter wasn't consciously aware of his condition due to his age when the cancer was first discovered.

Since Peter's death our perception of life has completely changed.

I don't know how to take this story!!

Over the last 31 years my father has been on renal dialysis from 1977 to 1983 when he underwent a kidney transplant, suffered three heart attacks, angina, several episodes of skin cancer and sessions of surgery and radiotherapy in an attempt to resolve the skin cancer, had half his lower jaw removed due to cancer and is now losing his eyesight at a rapid rate, and only stopped working in December 2007 at the age of 62.

Caitlin and James Ryan
Caitlin Ryan with her grandfather James Ryan

To combat all of this he has taken tens of thousands of tablets in his lifetime and could have decided to have given up at anytime!

In addition to my father's poor health, my mother has also had breast cancer as well as some minor bone cancer over recent years as well and still works five days a week at the age of 64!

My father didn't give up and over the last three years the whole reason for battling on is so that he can spend time with the family and especially to see my daughter grow day by day. Whilst Hannah's parents are no doubt very proud of their daughters "adult" decision, I cannot help but wonder how proud they could also be if their daughter had decided to fight on in the hope of living life to the full for as long as possible.

I know I'm as proud as hell of both my parents for fighting to live rather than any other alternative!

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