Dad who started smoking aged nine and had 20 cigarettes a day has double lung transplant
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A man had to have a double lung transplant at the age of 38 after being close to death's door.
Daniel Doherty from Walsall, West Midlands, has become one of the few individuals to undergo the highly complicated transplant.
The procedure took a staggering 13 hours to do.
Daniel - a former warehouse worker who was once a talented footballer with hopes of playing for Aston Villa - first started smoking at the young age of nine, and went on to smoke around 20 cigarettes a day.
The father-of-five decided to ditch the unhealthy habit at the age of 33 - but the damage to his lungs had already been done.
Daniel suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and type 2 respiratory failure, which left him unable to walk.
He had also had two comas and had a tracheostomy fitted to help him breathe.
Daniel was carefully selected for the groundbreaking transplant after being referred by Walsall Healthcare.
As per the NHS, you may be eligible for a lung transplant if you have 'end-stage respiratory failure who have failed to respond to other medical treatments'.
The life-changing procedures are quite rare, with only 106 of the surgeries being recorded between 2021-22.
He went under the knife in May of this year.
"By the time I had my transplant I couldn’t bear to be near smoke – I’d have to cover my face when I was near it," he told BirminghamLive.
"Before my operation, I didn’t enough know about the possibility of a transplant and thought I was going to die. I was a right mess. I don’t know the donor but I’d like to write him a letter of thanks because he saved my life."
Daniel's new lungs came from a male non-smoker in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Now the grandad-of-one is hoping to get fitter to spent more time with his grandson, Arlo, three, and his partner of 20 years, Rachel, 40.
The happy couple share five kids between the ages of 13 and 21.
The statistics for people post-lung surgery look quite optimistic.
According to the NHS, on average, 83 patients out of 100 are alive one year after a lung transplant.
Meanwhile, around 55 out of 100 patients are alive five years after the surgery.
The longest lung transplant to date lasted an impressive 20 years.
The average wait time for lung transplant is 18 months, but Daniel was lucky and had the procedure done just nine months after he was referred.