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World's longest-surviving heart transplant patient dies aged 73

Harefield Hospital remembers John McCafferty, who underwent life-saving surgery over 33 years ago

Record holder: John McCafferty survived for 33 years after a heart transplant

Harefield Hospital staff have paid tribute to the world's longest-surviving heart transplant patient, who died aged 73.

John McCafferty underwent a life-saving operation more than 33 years ago, after he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, aged 39.

He had been given just five years to live when he received the transplant at Harefield Hospital on October 20 1982.

John McCafferty celebrated the 30th anniversary of his heart transplant at Harefield Hospital

A Harefield Hospital spokesperson said: “We are extremely sad to hear that John has passed away and are forever grateful for his dedication to the Trust as a public governor and for his tireless work supporting organ donation.

"As the world’s longest surviving heart transplant patient, John was an inspiration to others and epitomised the life-changing nature of transplantation.

"He will be greatly missed by the entire transplant community."

Harefield Hospital

Mr McCafferty was officially recognised as the world's longest surviving heart transplant patient by by Guinness World Records in 2013.

Mr McCafferty, from Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, passed away on Tuesday, February 9, at Milton Keynes Hospital.

His wife of 50 years, Ann, told the BBC: "The last 30 years we had together were brilliant. We've travelled the world."

Dilated cardiomyopathy leads to scarring of the heart wall and damage to the muscle.

This causes the heart to become weakened and enlarged, preventing it from pumping efficiently.

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