An organ donation changed my life

Gordon and Catriona Hutchinson
Gordon and Catriona Hutchinson

Lanarkshire man Gordon Hutchinson grew up knowing the day would come when he’d need a heart transplant to save his life.

Born with a congenital heart defect, Gordon (24), needed surgery at 11-months-old to insert a pig skin valve to keep his heart pumping.

However, when his heart failed at the age of 13 Gordon had to hope that a donor would be found.

Thankfully after just six weeks on the list, Gordon’s mum took the call that would save his life.

He said: “They didn’t say at first they had a heart, they just asked if I had a cold or cough and if I was feeling okay.

“Then they said a heart was available and an ambulance would be coming to pick me up to transport me to Glasgow Airport where I would be flown by air ambulance to Newcastle.

“I was very calm but my mum and dad understandably were the ones having to do all the worrying. “

Gordon spent 12 hours in theatre and after three weeks in isolation was moved to a ward where he spent a further two months battling infections and recuperating.

Gordon said: “I felt great and was able to do so much more than ever before.”

Unfortunately fate struck him another cruel blow when he was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma at the age of 17.

However, after treatment he has been cancer free for four years and in October married Catriona Anderson.

He said: “My donor gave me the gift of life and I want to make sure I live it to the full, I want to show people just how much organ donation changes lives.”