Simon Morgan

At the age of 46 I discovered I had inherited my father’s condition, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which had led to his sudden death in his early 40s. 

At the point of diagnosis I still felt relatively fit, despite collapsing twice through exercise.  However, despite the implantation of an internal defibrillator (ICD) as well as taking a number of medications, my heart continued to worsen. Following my second assessment at Papworth hospital, I was put on the transplant list. 

The decision to join the list was one I took very seriously, as I was given clear advice that this was not a cure but instead would need continual monitoring and medication following a successful transplant.  The alternative looked bleak; my mobility at this point had become very impaired due to worsening heart failure and my wife and I discussed the decision before I chose to go ahead. 

Within just 10 days I received the call from Papworth hospital which would change my life.  The operation, despite a few hiccups, was successful, and after gaining full consciousness, the whole thing felt like some kind of surreal dream. I awoke to see the neat scar down my chest and all the pipes and wires leading from various locations around me. I felt very fortunate and grateful, which  will always stay with me.  After five days I was pottering around the ward, and by the second week was free of all pipes and wires, and even exercising in the hospital gym!

I then started my regimen of medication, and this combined with gradual increase in exercise, means I am, now in my early 60s, able to lead a normal very active life. Following transplant, I found a new interest in bee keeping, which led to my starting my bee keeping business (Simon the Beekeeper), which has grown, and is now very successful.  I've made a point of keeping fit with activities such as walking, swimming and regularly visiting the gym, along with trying to lead a relatively healthy lifestyle.  I've also since run a half marathon, and am in regular contact with his donor family, and try to live every day to the full.