Search

Joe's speech from the heart

PUBLISHED: 03:28 31 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:19 05 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT man has made a special speech during a 40th anniversary celebration of the first ever heart transplant carried out in the United States.

Joe Matthews was one of several post surgery patients invited back to Stanford University Hospital in California to give a presentation about his personal experience and his life after being given a new heart.

A LOWESTOFT man has made a special speech during a 40th anniversary celebration of the first ever heart transplant carried out in the United States.

Joe Matthews was one of several post surgery patients invited back to Stanford University Hospital in California to give a presentation about his personal experience and his life after being given a new heart.

The 21-year-old had the life-saving operation in April 2006 after doctors at Stanford found he was suffering from severe cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of the heart.

Joe's rare condition often affects young athletes and at the time of the diagnosis Joe of Fleet Dyke Drive, had gone to live in America, playing rugby for a major team through his college hoping to clinch a scholarship.

On his website - English Joe, he explained how everybody important to do with the cardiovascular system was at the anniversary, as well as many old faces he had met during his time at the hospital.

He said: “To be under the same roof as so many intelligent but all modest people to do with cardiovascular life was amazing and an experience I will never forget.

“I'd say this day is up there in the memory bank next to my actually heart transplant experience.”

Despite being forced to give up his dream, Joe has taken up another sport, which he is excelling at just as much as the former.

Since his successful surgery Joe has run the London marathon, the Bupa Great South Run, the Bungay Black Dog half Marathon and the Lowestoft Scores race.

And last year he won a gold medal on both the 100 and 200 metre sprints along with the long jump at the British Transplant Games. He is now looking forward to competing in the world games in Australia this August.

Next month he has another important hospital appointment and if all goes well he will have his second national team meeting the week after.

In preparation Joe joined the City of Norwich Athletics Club last year, sprint training once a week.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Lowestoft Journal. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal