A REVOLUTIONARY new method of conducting heart transplants at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank has given two critically ill patients hope for the future.

Roger Marr and Julie-Ann Morris are the first people in Scotland to have a transplant using the “Heart in a Box” system.

The new technology is the world’s first portable device which keeps human organs warm and functioning outside of the body.

It simulates the conditions of the body and allows organs to function as they normally do.

Golden Jubilee transplant surgeon Phil Curry has hailed the benefits and improved outcomes which the Organ Care System (OCS) can bring.

He said: “It is a fantastic achievement to have completed two heart transplants this year using OCS – for the first time in Scotland – with good results for the patients involved.

“Roger and Julie-Ann are both young and were critically ill, but they are now making good progress and I have little doubt that using the OCS helped keep the donors’ hearts in premium condition before transplantation.

“The OCS means that organs can be retrieved from farther away and that we can therefore consider organs which may have been previously rejected.

“Using new technologies that can benefit patients and improve outcomes for them is a major part of what we do and how we work at the Golden Jubilee Foundation, to lead on quality, research and innovation.”

Julie-Ann Morris, 41, from Glasgow, was lucky enough to receive her heart transplant through OCS four days after being put on the transplant list, just weeks after Roger.

A senior insurance underwriter, she had lived with heart problems for most of her life.

She gradually started becoming more seriously ill during 2017 and in December that year, Golden Jubilee surgeons came to the conclusion that a heart transplant was her only hope.

Julie-Ann said: “It’s a slow recovery following the surgery, but you see small improvements every week.

“Now I have a chance to have more of a life than I ever had. Before I was physically unable to walk even short distances, but now I can look forward to a future where I want to climb a Munro.”

Roger, 46, an assistant rail construction manager, first went to his GP back in November 2017 where it was first thought he had “Australian” flu – a severe strain of the virus known as H3N2.

It was soon discovered he had a viral infection, which caused severe heart failure.

He said: “I owe so much to the donor, their family and transplant team at the Jubilee, I cannot put into words my gratitude.”