Woman sees her own heart at museum 16 years after transplant operation
In one of the weirdest meetings ever, a woman recently visited a museum to see her own heart, which was removed from her body in a life-saving transplant operation 16 years ago. BBC reported. Jennifer Sutton, from Ringwood in Hampshire, said it was “incredibly surreal” to see her own organ on display at the Hunterian Museum in London.
“As soon as you first walk in, you think, ‘That was inside my body,'” she said. “But it’s kind of nice too, he’s like my friend. He kept me alive for 22 years and I’m really proud of that. I’ve seen a lot of things in jars in my life, but to think it’s actually mine is very weird,” she added.
She explained that she hoped it would support organ donation, which she described as “the greatest gift possible”. She told the BBC that she now leads an active and busy life and that she intends to “hold me out as long as possible”.
When Ms Sutton first discovered she had difficulty with moderate exercise, such as walking on hills, she was a 22-year-old university student. She was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy, a health condition that limits the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. Doctors told her she would die if she did not receive a transplant.
In June 2007, she received the shocking news that a match had been found.
“I remember waking up after the transplant and thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m actually a new person. I remember doing a little thumbs up dance to my family and saying, “I did it, I did it,” she said.
Ms Sutton then granted permission to the Royal College of Surgeons to use her heart for an exhibition and it is now open to all at the Holborn Museum.
She said she wanted to take action to promote organ donation and added that it has brought about life-defining moments, such as her marriage. She further said that she wanted to urge others to live their lives to the fullest and encouraged anyone who puts off her plans to “do it today.”