Brave Wigan dad undergoes heart transplant surgery

Dave Hughes with son George and partner Louise Sedgwick
Dave Hughes with son George and partner Louise Sedgwick
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After an agonising wait a Wigan dad is finally undergoing the 12-hour operation which will give him a new heart.

Dave Hughes, 32, is currently in heart transplant surgery after getting the call from Newcastle Hospital yesterday morning.

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The dad-of-one from Whelley has had a long wait for the organ, which he was told he needed to survive after being born with a congenital heart condition meaning his main arteries are the wrong way round.

Five years ago, Dave was told that he only had five years to live. Now, dad to 18-month-old George, Dave needs the operation more than ever so that he can see his son grow up.

Louise Sedgwick, Dave’s partner and George’s mum, said: “He is still in theatre at the moment. Looking like it’s going to be around a 12-hour surgery and we are hoping to know something soon. It’s been a long day and night.

“I just want to see him now. It broke my heart watching him walk down to the theatre room and I know that he is going to look so poorly and be asleep for a while, but it’s the start of the rest of our lives.

"I really can't imagine how the donor's family are feeling today."

The family have been through some devastating setbacks on their journey. Just earlier this month Dave was called for the life-saving operation but unfortunately missed out at the last minute to someone who needed both a heart and a liver.

But despite this, they have stayed positive throughout, campaigning for awareness of organ donation and urging people to sign up to the donor list.

Even today, Louise has been set to talk about the “opt-out” debate at Parliament, something which the whole family is backing.

MPs will meet in London later to discuss a private members’ bill which would introduce an opt-out system for organ donation in England.

Dave and Louise have publicly spoken out about opt-out organ donation before, saying that most people would choose to donate if they knew how it felt to fear for the life of a loved one.

Louise and Dave’s family will remain in Newcastle awaiting news from his surgeons.

To sign on the NHS organ donation register click here