Jim has a heart of gold 20 years after transplant op

Couple celebrate 50th wedding anniversary 20 years after husband had heart transplant. Palmers Long Sutton ANL-150708-171113001
Couple celebrate 50th wedding anniversary 20 years after husband had heart transplant. Palmers Long Sutton ANL-150708-171113001
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A golden moment has been celebrated by a man who had a heart transplant 20 years ago and has now notched up 50 years of marriage.

Jim and Carol Price exchanged new Golden Wedding bands to mark the love that has helped them fight on against all odds to still be together for their anniversary.

On Friday they celebrated the day they married at the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Lynn with son Simon and his wife, Nicky, at a special meal.

Jim, 69, said: “I’ve had my ups and downs along the way but the love of a good woman has definitely kept me going.

“No-one expected me to survive this long but I’m still here.”

Carol, 71, worked for the Ambulance Service in a role which would now be a paramedic when she first met Jim.

She recalls: “We’d stopped for petrol at Southgate services in Kings Lynn and Jim was working there.”

For several years they ran a cycle shop in Long Sutton but had moved to Sutton Bridge when Jim’s health began to fail.

Following a heart attack, he went on the heart transplant register and had to wait 11 months before one became available.

He said: “I was number 633 to undergo the operation at Papworth Hospital and the longest survival period the was 15 years. Now the longest period someone has survived is 32 years.

Carol said: “Teamwork, never giving up and having good support is what has kept Jim going.

“He won the lottery when he got his heart.”

As well celebrating their golden wedding with a meal, the couple also spoke on the phone to family in Australia.

Their other son Richard, 44, lives in Brisbane and they 
have three grandchildren, Rebecca, 20, Emily, 18, and Matthew, 17.

Carol said: “Jim never thought he would get to see Rebecca because she was born the same year as he had his transplant.

“But although he’s never been well enough to go to Australia the have been over here to see us.”

Simon, 45, said: “It’s nice to see mum and dad here today celebrating 50 years of marriage. I’m really proud of how they have coped over the years.”

His parents are now retired and live in Long Sutton.

Jim, who was also given a gold St Christopher from Carol as a Golden Wedding anniversary gift to keep him safe, continues to have regular check-ups after a series of small strokes.

He said: “After my operation, in my mind I was never going to die. Now I take life a day at a time.”