NHS saves children’s lives with world-first ‘dead’ heart transplants

Andrew Gregory:

Anna Hadley had waited almost two years for a new heart after being told she had a terminal condition.

Now the 16-year-old from Worcester is healthy and playing hockey again, thanks to British surgeons who carried out the world’s first transplants in children using dead hearts that were brought back to life.

Using a pioneering machine, NHS medics have been able to reanimate hearts from donors whose hearts had stopped. The technique has saved the lives of six British children aged from 12 to 16, and the transplants have all taken place during the pandemic.

For Anna, the life-changing phone call came at 2.30am. Nearly two years after she had been put on the waiting list for a heart transplant, a donor had been found.