Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Organ Donor Plea from Man Who Had Cardiac Arrest at 8

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Organ Donor Plea from Man Who Had Cardiac Arrest at 8

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHON MANNING Reporter jonathon.manning@trinitymirror.com @JONNYAMANNING

AYOUNG man who suffered a cardiac arrest when he was just eight years old and has now been placed on the organ transplant list, has returned to the North East to speak about his condition and raise awareness about the importance of organ donations.

Jim Lynskey, 22, suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy, which more commonly known as an enlarged heart. The condition has led to him suffering multiple cardiac arrests, with the first one occurring when he was just eight years old.

After he was struck by a heart attack nine years later, Jim became the youngest person in the UK to be fitted with a heart pump known as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and was placed on the heart transplant list.

Jim said: "I have had heart problems all my life and I live with a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy.

"I have had heart problems since I was eight where I had several cardiac arrests and a further one when I was 17.

"In 2015 I suffered from pneumonia which attacked my heart which led to me going to hospital for 12 weeks to have an operations.

"I wasn't in a fit state to have a transplant as my organs were failing. The only alternative was a LVAD, which is a form of electric pump."

However, two years after receiving the LVAD Jim underwent another life-saving operation after the pump malfunctioned.

"In October 2017 I was the first person in the UK to have the pump turned off," Jim said.

"This piece of equipment has never failed before, but I was at university and it began to alarm. I was rushed to hospital and had the pump changed."

LVADs are usually used by patients for a number of years to keep them alive until a suitable heart donor can be found. It is extremely rare that they malfunction and Jim's old pump is now being examined in the US to find out what caused it to go wrong.

Jim lives in Birmingham but has travelled back to the North East to raise awareness about the importance of organ donations.

The region has a special significance for Jim, as it was the first place he ever began campaigning after local band Little Comets heard about his story. …

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