Unexpected reunion! Woman visits her own heart on display at museum, 16 years after transplant surgery
Jennifer Sutton, a transplant patient, achieved the unimaginable as she visited her very own heart displayed in a museum. After 16 years since its removal, her heart is now exhibited at the prestigious Hunterian Museum in London.
Overwhelmed by the experience, Jennifer described it as surreal and hopes that it will inspire others to consider organ donation for life-saving transplants. Her journey began at the age of 22, when she realised her physical limitations, even struggling with basic tasks like walking up gentle hills.
Decision to get a transplant
Jennifer Sutton, who hails from Ringwood in Hampshire, was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and received the devastating news that her survival depended on a transplant. Her health deteriorated while waiting for a suitable donor. Then, in June 2007, she received the life-changing news that a match had been found.
Given the tragic loss of her mother during a similar procedure when Jennifer was only 13 years old, anxiety loomed over her surgery. However, the operation was a success, and now, 16 years later, she stands before her preserved heart, an enduring symbol of her triumph over adversity.
A heart at display
The 38-year-old Sutton informed the BBC that it was ‘incredibly surreal’ to see her own organ placed as an exhibit at the Hunterian Museum in London.
“The minute you first walk in, you think, ‘that used to be inside my body’,” she said.
“But it’s quite nice too—it’s like my friend. It kept me alive for 22 years and I’m quite proud of it really. I’ve seen lots of things in jars in my lifetime but to think that’s actually mine is very weird,’ she added.
Sutton stated that she wanted to take steps to promote organ donation and added that it made life-defining moments like her wedding happen, which otherwise appeared impossible.
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