Heart transplant Wigan dad fights back

Dave Hughes with wife Louise and son George
Dave Hughes with wife Louise and son George

A Wigan dad who has battled serious health complications since undergoing a heart transplant in February, is making huge steps in his recovery journey.

Dave Hughes, 32, remains in Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, 160 miles away from his new wife and 19-month-old son as he fights to regain his health.

The Whelley dad-of-one who suffered from a congenital heart condition all of his life, was finally granted the vital transplant less than three months ago after being put on the urgent list.

Since the operation, Dave has fought chest infections, monumental blood loss and a gastrointestinal virus against all the odds and has gone back under the knife on several occasions for life-saving procedures, including having a mechanism fitted to beat his heart while he recovers.

Last month, exactly a month after he entered hospital, he married his devoted wife Louise, 25, in an intimate ceremony arranged by Freeman Hospital staff.

Louise, who travels back and forth each week between her Wigan home and Dave’s bedside in Newcastle has now revealed that her new husband is making incredible steps despite previous concerns that he might not pull through.

“Last week was tough,” she said. “Dave had a few dark days but now he seems to be pulling through. He had to be taken to his own cubicle because he caught a stomach bug - I just wanted someone to give him a break.

“But soon after that the doctors said his blood numbers were going in the right direction and we got to have some relaxation therapy together- it was amazing. Dave was so relaxed her slept for hours afterwards.”

Now Louise has received the news that Dave’s progress is so positive that the doctors will be aiming to take him off dialysis for 12 hours. He has been hooked up to the dialysis machine, which removes excess waste products and cleans the blood in a similar way to the kidneys, since the operation.

Louise, who has campaigned tirelessly for organ donation awareness said that Dave continues to fight for his chance to be healthy and is urging everyone to sign up as a donor to help save more lives like his.

To register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk