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George's Story

George Simpson

My name is George Dexter Simpson and I am 4 and a bit years old. In the summer of 2002 I started feeling a bit poorly and as time went on I became very tired and didn’t want to do anything. Mummy and Daddy were very worried about me so they took me to the doctors. The doctor sent me for a blood test. The test showed that I was anaemic and needed some iron in my blood. I kept taking the iron medicine for nearly two months but it was making me sick all the time and I wasn’t feeling any better. Anyway, it turned out that when one of the doctors at the hospital looked at me, I wasn’t anaemic at all. I had a very poorly heart, my heart had a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition made my heart swollen and didn’t pump the blood around my body very well.

I was put in an ambulance with the blue lights flashing and was taken to a hospital in London called the Royal Brompton. I spent 2 weeks there in intensive care. They told us that my heart was very poorly and if it did not get any better, I would need a heart transplant. My condition got a little bit worse and they sent me to Great Ormond Street Hospital where they were going to do my transplant. When we got to GOSH they took me to cardiac intensive care, but I felt a bit better and they put me on a high dependency ward the next day.

Anyway, after this when I was having a little operation, I had a cardiac arrest and they were trying to get my heart going again for six minutes. I had to go back to cardiac intensive care to go on a life support machine called ECMO.

In October 2002, Mummy and Daddy got a phone call in the middle of the night to say they thought that a new heart had been found for me. So they came over to the hospital where the doctors and nurses took me to theatre to have my operation. Nearly twelve hours after, I came out of theatre still on the life support machine. The new heart didn’t work properly. I spent another week on ECMO and at the end of that week they did a test on my to see if my new heart had started working properly, well it had and they were so pleased with me that they took me off the machine and sewed me back up.

The next day I went up to the normal ward, where I had a long and slow recovery ahead of me. I came out of hospital just before Christmas 2002, and have been getting better ever since.

In fact I am so well that I ran a 50-metre sprint in the National Transplant games last Summer. I go to nursery every day and in my spare time I do football training and am having French lessons, so hopefully I’ll be able to play for Arsenal when I get older. I also want to be in a band just like Busted and I will be the bass player and singer.

George Simpson

George Simpson