A brave Wigan dad will be remembered by hundreds of people at a funeral service on Monday.
Preparations are under way to celebrate the life of dad-of-one, Dave Hughes, who died on May 8 after a long, heroic battle.
The 32-year-old from Whelley fought numerous complications after undergoing a 12-hour heart transplant at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital back in February.
But despite all his efforts, Dave’s health deteriorated and he died in the arms of his devoted wife, Louise, on Tuesday May 8.
Louise, 25, who is also mother to the couple’s 20-month-old son George, paid tribute to her husband saying: “I held my gorgeous husband in my arms as he passed into a deep sleep, He isn’t suffering anymore and I’ve never been as proud to call him my husband.
“He will always share a special place in my heart and never be forgotten. Me and George love you Dave so so much.”
Dave fought serious health problems for more than three decades after being born with a congenital heart defect meaning that his main arteries were the wrong way round. He was told just over five years ago that he would have no chance of surviving without a heart transplant.
Since then the couple have devoted a great deal of time to campaign for organ donation awareness.
Before his death, Dave was filmed for a BBC2 documentary called “Heart transplant: A chance to live”.
The 90-minute programme which aired on Monday night followed Dave and fellow Wiganer Claire Taylor - who also died after a failed transplant - through their challenging journeys before and after the life-changing operation. Following the operation, which was initially a success, Dave suffered severe blood loss and several infections, including a gastric bug, which impacted on his overall health.
Just six weeks after marrying Louise in an intimate hospital ceremony, Dave’s life-saving machinery was switched off.
The heroic dad-of-one was told that his heart was not working and that he would likely have to wait until the end of the year to find out if he was eligible for a second transplant.
After this devastating news, Dave decided to have his Berlin Heart turned off - the machine which performed the function of his heart.
Dave, who was able to say goodbye to close family and friends, was joined by his mum Kaye and Louise who stayed with him until the end.
The funeral, which is being organised by Varty’s funeral directors - a company run by Dave’s best friend Kristen Varty - will take place next week.
The service will be held at St Anne’s Church in Beech Hill on Monday, May 21 at noon followed by a wake at Swinley Labour Club.