Woman marks Papworth heart-lung op's 25th anniversary


A woman who was the first person with cystic fibrosis to have a heart-lung transplant at Papworth Hospital is celebrating the 25th anniversary.

Julie Bennett, 45, from Chepstow, Monmouthshire, returned to the hospital to meet staff.

She said she was surprised to get the surgery as she feared doctors thought she was dying.

"I never dreamt that I would be here 25 years later eating cake with my surgeon John Wallwork," she said.

She added: "I was extremely ill in hospital, and when the doctors asked to see my mother I thought it was to tell her that I was going to die.

"Instead I was offered the chance of being assessed for transplantation.

"Since my transplant I have returned to Papworth Hospital for regular check-ups and it is just like one big happy family."

Professor Wallwork, who carried out the first successful heart-lung transplant in Europe in 1984, said Miss Bennett had been "extremely sick".

He said: "Before her transplant Julie was extremely sick, weighed just five-and-a-half stone and her only chance of survival was a heart-lung transplant.

"The transplant on 10 October, 1985 was ground-breaking surgery and I am delighted to be here today to celebrate this milestone with Julie."

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