A GRANDMOTHER has stunned doctors by making a remarkable recovery after undergoing a transplant operation to receive six vital organs – all from the same donor.
Joanne Adam, 47, endured 20 hours of surgery to have her stomach, liver, bowel, pancreas and small and large intestine replaced.
She had been diagnosed with a rare tumour on her liver which spread to other organs, putting her life at risk.
But after eight months on the transplant list, Ms Adam, from Johnstone, Renfrewshire, got a phone call to say a donor match had been found.
She travelled to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where she underwent major surgery before spending 12 weeks recovering at the centre.
Ms Adam said: “Before the operation, I couldn’t even get out of bed, I had no strength whatsoever. I was always in pain.
“The doctors said they hadn’t seen anything like my tumour before.”
“I just couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call to say they had all of the organs,” she added. “It just didn’t feel real.”
She suffered complications and had to have emergency brain surgery as well as a further operation to have a blood clot removed.
She was initially told she would not make it home for Christmas but ended up well enough to travel back to Scotland on December 1.
She said: “All things considered, it was a quick recovery, but I still have a very long way to go.
“My kids and my grandchildren just can’t believe I am home for Christmas – I just can’t wait to spend it with them.”
“I always put up my Christmas tree on December 1 but of course this year I didn’t even think I was going to be home.
“But I got home on the first and my son had pulled out the Christmas tree and put it up, which was lovely to come home to.”
She is now hoping to write a letter to her donor’s family which will be passed on by the transplant team.
John Forsythe, associate medical director for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Transplants of more than two organs from one donor are rare, but all organ transplants would not happen if it were not for the selfless act of donation.
“Around three people die each day in need or organ due to the shortage of donors and we need more people to tell their family they want to donate and then join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
“A few words can make an extraordinary difference.”
Source : HeraldScotland