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Family stays brave as Dave battles on

Dave Hughes, Louise Sedgwick and their one-year-old son George
Dave Hughes, Louise Sedgwick and their one-year-old son George

A father-of-one living on borrowed time remains in hospital after acquiring an infection whilst waiting for a life-saving heart transplant.

Dave Hughes, 32, from Whelley, has been in a Newcastle hospital for more than four weeks after developing an infection from vital tubes needed to keep his heart functioning properly.

Baby George Hughes

Baby George Hughes

Dad to one-year-old George, Dave has campaigned along with his partner, Louise Sedgwick to convince others to become organ donors and potentially save the lives of people just like him.

Dave was born with a congenital heart defect and has been on the organ list waiting for the phone call which could change his life forever.

Five years ago he was given around five years to live, but is still waiting for the perfect heart, preferably from someone of a similar age and weight in order to increase his chances of it taking.

Louise, 24, last month backed the Government’s campaign to make organ donation “opt out”, saying that most people would donate their organs if they knew how it felt to fear for a loved one’s life.

Talking about Dave’s latest scare, she said: “He is only allowed home for weekends. They did a little operation to remove an infection but it’s not healing well and is bleeding a lot so he is very tired and in constant pain.

“They are keeping a close eye on him and are ready to give him a blood transfusion. He just needs plenty of rest. He is gutted that he is missing out on George’s first time of trick or treating.

“He is up in Newcastle all week then hopefully he will be home on Friday and going back again on Monday.”

The family has adapted to Dave’s intense hospital schedule and have learned to cope with the ups and downs that come with his condition.

Back in the summer, Dave was just hours from receiving his heart transplant after years of waiting, but sadly the operation was pulled right at the last minute after he had been put under to go into theatre.

The hopeful dad now spends his time watching George grow up and trying to stay as healthy as he can so that he will be in peak physical condition when he gets the call. “I try not to let it bother me, If I sit and worry about it, that phone’s not going to ring any quicker,” said Dave in a previous interview.

Registration to become an organ donor can be done online in less than two minutes at www.organdonation.nhs.uk