May 11th 2018
Great grandad who underwent a double lung transplant will throw a fundraising dinner to say thank you for his care
A great grandad who underwent a double lung transplant will throw a fundraising dinner to say thank you for his care.
Michael Willis, aged 60, who suffers from the rare lung condition sarcoidosis, was given just six months to live – unless he had the major operation.
He was cared for by consultant respiratory physician Dr Arvind Rajaskaran at City Hospital, Birmingham, who was determined to save his patient. He worked with the Royal Papworth Hospital to find a donor and Michael had surgery in June last year at the Cambridge-based hospital.
Now as a thank you to the medics who saved his life, Michael and his wife Patricia have organised a fundraising event, with proceeds going to City Hospital’s Your Trust Charity, and the Royal Papworth Hospital Charity.
He said: “I wanted to show both hospitals how much I have appreciated their help throughout all of this ordeal. I didn’t know if I would ever see my great grandchild O’Shea born, but it was the determination from Dr Rajasekaran, and the great work from the Royal Papworth Hospital, that ensured I lived to meet him.
“What better way to show them my gratitude than to fundraise for both Trusts. We hope to raise more than £3,000 on the night.”
Michael said of the operation: “I feel extremely grateful to the person who donated their lungs to me. Like my wife said, someone had to go so I can be here. It was a miracle for me and my family.
“I feel that I have been given a second chance and I need to make the most of it. I’m cherishing every moment that I am able to spend with my family.”
Michael added: “Before I had this condition, I was very healthy and I worked full time. Then all of a sudden I started showing symptoms of Sarcoidosis. I struggled to move from one room to another, and I wasn’t able to breathe very well. I felt exhausted taking just small steps. I even needed to use an electronic wheelchair to go to the toilet. Now I am able to help babysit little O’Shea and do the things in life that people can so easily take for granted.”
Amanda Winwood, fundraising manager for Your Trust Charity, said: “We are very grateful to Michael and his wife for organising this event. The money raised will go to the Trust’s respiratory team.”
The event will take place at Conference Aston, at Aston University on June 23, a year after Michael’s operation.
Tickets cost £35, and include a three course dinner and entertainment. To buy tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-michael-willis-and-friends-tickets-45055780051
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