‘I want to thank you for my life’

Clifford James
Clifford James

A man who underwent a life-saving operation is well on the way to recovery after getting a new heart.

Clifford James, 53, from Waddesdon was born with congenital heart defect and in 2011 was critically ill after suffering heart failure.

Mr James was given an artifially heart to save his life whilst he waited for a suitable donor to be found but further complications put him in hospital for nine months.

Last year a donor was found and he underwent a operation at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex.

He said: “I had the operation in March and it was a great relief because I had no idea how long I was going to have to wait.”

Mr James was discharged in May and although he returned to work for a few months he left in September.

He said: “The operation was a success and although I went back to work in the wine warehouse at Waddesdon Manor for a few months I left in September and retired on health grounds.

“I enjoyed what I was doing there but I found it a bit stressful.”

Mr James is now looking to the future and says he plans to get involved as a volunteer at Harefield Hospital.

He said: “I am planning to return to Harefield soon as a volunteer.

“During my time there I got to know a lot of the staff and patients and I wanted to show my appreciation for what everyone did for me.

“I am looking to get involved with fundraising activities and with the hospital’s choir.

“When I was there waiting to have my operation these activities helped to keep me active and it helped me to keep a positive attitude towards life.”

Mr James said that he was lucky and that the hospital did not complete many transplants.

He said: “I want to highlight how many people do not pull through. A lot of people do pass away and it is so easy for people to be donors.”