A lucky woman is preparing to host a 20th anniversary party with a difference – she is celebrating living for two decades with a new heart.
Angela White, 34, was struck down by a virus as a 14-year-old, while playing in a school hockey tournament, and suffered three cardiac arrests.
The former Wrenn School pupil was rushed to hospital on November 13, 1992, and underwent heart transplant surgery at Papworth Hospital on April 22, 1993.
After the transplant in 1993, as a plucky teenager, she told the Telegraph, ‘I’m fine’.
And now, 20 years later, despite being told the average life expectancy for a heart donor recipient was 10 years, Miss White has told us again, ‘I’m still fine!”
Miss White, of Chichele Street, Higham Ferrers, added: “I’m planning a 20th ‘transplant birthday’ party, as I am told it is tradition at Papworth.
“I will be having a barn dance with family and friends.”
“While it is a time for celebration, it will also be a time for reflection and mixed emotions, as I think about the donor’s parents.”
Rather than presents, Miss White is asking her guests to make a donation to Papworth Hospital’s Vision for Research Fund.
But now Miss White, who works as an administrator at Littlehey Prison, in Cambridgeshire, said she wants to do something ‘worthwhile’.
She said: “I will be running in the local elections in May this year, for the Higham ward, as I want to give something back to the community – a chance to do something worthwhile.”
She said that because she was at death’s door as a youngster she will campaign for the building of a children’s hospice in the county.