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Thursday, 10 February, 2000, 09:27 GMT
Transplant man celebrates 20th anniversary

Harefield Hospital Derek Morris's transplant took place at Harefield Hospital


A 69-year-old grandfather who is Europe's longest heart transplant survivor has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the operation which saved his life.

Former docker Derrick Morris, from Swansea, was one of the first people to have a heart transplant at the now-renowned Harefield Hospital in Middlesex.

His operation on 10 February, 1980, was performed by world-famous heart surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.

Mr Morris was meeting some of the team on Thursday who performed the transplant operation when he was seriously ill with heart disease.

He said: "Twenty years ago I was a complete invalid. I couldn't even walk.

"In February 1980 Professor Yacoub gave me my new heart and since then I have come on in leaps and bounds.

"Over the past 20 years I have travelled the world, including five trips to the US.

'Wonderful grandchildren'

"I have also done a lot of cycling with my new heart - although I am having to go a bit slower now as the rest of my body is going to be 70 next month."

He added: "But most important of all, I have three wonderful grandchildren who, without my new heart, I would never have seen."

Harefield now runs the largest heart and lung transplant programme in the world.

Since 1980 Professor Yacoub and his team have carried out 2,276 heart and heart/lung transplants.

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See also:
12 Oct 98 |  Health
Heart transplant mother makes history
09 Oct 98 |  Entertainment
Hard man is all heart
03 Nov 98 |  Health
Briton saved by metal heart

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