A case study from the Huddersfield Town family
As the Club gears up to the ‘Give and Let Live’ game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, the importance of Organ Donation has never been clearer due to the plight of a member of the Huddersfield Town family.
Meltham man David Horsfall – husband of Town’s Receptionist Hilary – was fit and healthy until he came down with a cough and cold in 2009 faces a double lung transplant.
David was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease and a transplant is his only option of regaining his health.
Hilary has spoken of their plight as the Club gets ready to host its second Support Organ Donation match on Saturday, following on from the success of last season’s game against Oldham Athletic.
“It all started a couple of weeks before Christmas 2009 when David had a cold and a cough, it was quite a bad one, and he never got over it.”
Doctors prescribed antibiotics and the former joiner returned to work, but the cough persisted.
“He was sent for an X-ray but they didn’t seem too concerned with what it showed,” Hilary added. “By Christmas 2010 I noticed that he couldn’t speak a sentence without having to cough – I knew something wasn’t right so we went to the doctors and it’s all gone from there.”
A CT scan showed fibres on his lungs so David needed a biopsy, which confirmed he had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). He remains breathless and now uses oxygen and still has the cough. He returned to work but soon it became too difficult and he left in January this year
Hilary added: “He’s gone from being active, fit and healthy, we enjoyed walking and cycling but it’s rare we go out now. The only cure is an organ donation. It’s a quick disease and when he was diagnosed he asked the doctor ‘how long have I got?’ and he said it could be three months, it could be 20 years, but the average is three years.”
David is now on the organ donor list for the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle – there are already 80 people on the list and 15 of them are of his blood group, but because he needs a double organ transplant, he needs to wait for a suitable organ to become available.
Hilary added: “It’s totally changed our lives. We’ve brilliant family and friends who are helping and work have been great letting me go part-time.
“The game against Bolton will raise awareness of the organ donor register and hopefully encourage people to join. If you sign up that’s all you have to do while you’re living, but it allows your organs to be used after death, which means someone else can live. Until you face it you don’t realise how important it is. He was fit and healthy and then this happens.”
After the first donor match the organ donor register was boosted by 9,000 people. Yorkshire Heart Research and Organ Donation and Transplantation staff will be at Town on Saturday handing leaflets out and talking about the issue and Peter Hall, a surgeon at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, will also speak to fans about the importance of signing up to the organ donation register.
Tickets for the match are from £21 for adults and £5 for juniors – click HERE to buy yours now!