Two cousins have spoken of their new lease of life after receiving life-saving heart transplants.

Fraser Wilson, from Glasgow, and Louise Campbell, from Wishaw, were both 45 when they underwent the surgery at the Golden Jubilee University National Hospital in Clydebank.

The pair both had the genetic disease cardiomyopathy and had lost parents and uncles to it. 

Glasgow Times: Image: PA

Mr Wilson, 46, who is an area director for a bank in Glasgow, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy when he was just 14. 

He was further diagnosed with heart failure five years ago and had a defibrillator fitted, but his health deteriorated last January.

Speaking about the benefits of his surgery, Mr Wilson said: “It’s phenomenal having this new heart, it’s hard to describe.

"I just feel like everything has been sorted in me like a 30-year weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

“Because I was diagnosed so young I always just assumed I was going to die young, but now I genuinely have a new lease of life, it’s amazing.

“I always thought positively of organ donation and wanted to be an organ donor, but wasn’t sure if my organs would be particularly useful.

“But going through this process I obviously have a much better appreciation of all organ donation now."

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Ms Campbell, now 47, also had a defibrillator fitted when she was just 18 and underwent her transplant at the same age as Mr Wilson.

Since the procedure, she has started studying for a role in social work and even appeared as a contestant on the television game show Countdown.

She said: “We as a family spoke a lot about organ donation. One of my mum’s cousins donated his organs after he passed away and that brought them, as a family, comfort.

“As a recipient, I have a huge appreciation for my heart that someone has decided to give me. It’s more than donating an organ, it’s giving someone their life back, it’s a whole life that impacts your family and friends, and it gives people a future.

“Whoever my donor is hasn’t just given me new life, it’s changed my child’s life as well, but I know this came from a loss from another family so it’s hard to deal with sometimes, but all you can do is live your life for them and make it meaningful.”

The cousins told their stories to mark Organ and Tissue Donation Week, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of making a decision to donate, as well as pay tribute to organ donors and families who have given the gift of life to others.

At the same time, the team at NHS Golden Jubilee’s Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS) is celebrating the completion of 500 transplants over the past 30 years, with a record of 40 procedures successfully carried out in the past 12 months.

For more information on Organ Donation Week and information on how to register a decision to donate, click HERE