TV show charts tragic tale of two Wigan transplant patients

Claire Taylor
Claire Taylor
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Two brave Wigan heart transplant patients will appear in an emotional feature-length BBC documentary which follows their tragic journeys.


Dave Hughes and Claire Taylor, who both died after failed heart transplant operations, bravely faced the camera before their surgery to give an insight into the reality of waiting for a new organ.

Dave Hughes, who sadly passed away this week

Dave Hughes, who sadly passed away this week

“Heart transplant: A chance to live” will air on BBC Two on Monday, May 14, at 9pm.

The documentary follows seven patients at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital aged between eight-months and 56 years old and who are all in desperate need of a new heart.

Valiant Claire Taylor - who was 34 when she died at the unit following post-surgery complications - only ever had a “one in three” chance of survival due to a procedure she had undergone previously.

Her wife, Celli Taylor, is urging people to watch the documentary, which follows Claire’s difficult journey to the theatre room and until her death in late September last year.

“The documentary has been done with dignity and care,” she said. “I would like to thank all of the staff at the Freeman for giving Claire this opportunity.

“It will show how brave she was, to still smile despite everything that she was going through.

“She would have loved how it has been carefully put together. James the director, Leanne who filmed and the other filming crew have done an incredible job.

“It’s a very in depth documentary with real views of what happens in the theatre.”

During the documentary, Claire speaks to BBC crews ahead of her surgery, and there is footage of her transplant as well as insights from medical staff following her death.

Dave Hughes, who died last week after a long and painful battle, will also feature in the 90 minute programme.

The dad-of-one from Whelley underwent 56 hours of surgery in just 12 weeks following his transplant. He lost his fight on Tuesday, May 8, at the Freeman Hospital in the arms of his devoted wife Louise.