Dying Dad Gets Transplant In Time To Walk Daughter Down The Aisle

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

Dying dad gets transplant in time to walk daughter down the aisle

A terminally ill father received a life-saving lung transplant just in time to walk his daughter down the aisle.

Graham Wagstaff, 68, from Albrighton, Shropshire, was suffering with terminal lung disease and desperately needed a transplant.

He feared he would die before seeing his daughter get married - but received a transplant just in time.

Graham said: "It's amazing that by someone saying 'yes' to organ donation has led to me getting my life back.

"I was on 24/7 oxygen before the op and was so close to dying. It was so emotional actually being able to walk my daughter, Helen, down the aisle on her wedding day.

"I never thought I'd get the chance before my transplant.

"It was such a perfect day, something I would definitely not of been able to do just a few months ago."

Helen Cavanaugh, 34, who moved to California five years ago, said that she was terrified her dad would not receive a transplant in time.

She said: "It was amazing to have both my parents fly over to America for our big day. He was so unwell leading up to the wedding that we all feared he wouldn't make it.

"I got married in December and without the donor my dad wouldn't of been able to walk me down the aisle.

"I can't imagine what my wedding would have been like without my dad."

Graham's brother died 16 years ago from the same lung disease, alveolitis, when he was 49.

The family are now trying to raise awareness of organ donation.

Graham added: "It was a shock when I received the same diagnosis as knew how serious it could be. Without my new lungs I wouldn't be here today, it's a gift that I won't be able to repay.

"Seeing my daughter get married and being able to walk her down the aisle was one of the best moments of my life, I'll never forget it.

"I'm so grateful that I finally have my life back."

Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: "Graham is living, walking proof of the benefits of organ donation.

"The sad fact is that less than a third of families will agree to donation going ahead if they don't know it was what their loved one wanted.

"So for more people like Graham to get the life changing transplant they need, tell your family you've decided you'd like to donate your organs.

"Then join the NHS Organ Donor Register to record your decision by visiting or calling 0300 123 23 23."


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