Nursery owner and heart transplant survivor is climbing world’s highest volcano

Day Nurses | Susan Learner

James Arthur and his children Molly and Charlie

Three years ago, James Arthur, who owns Magic Daycare Nurseries in North London, collapsed at work. The next day he was diagnosed with major heart failure and admitted to hospital to wait for a heart transplant. "I was 29 years old, married and with a 19 month old son. I suddenly had to face the idea of Kate having to bring Charlie up without me and Charlie never really knowing his father," he says.

After five months of waiting, he was lucky enough to receive a donor heart and has been steadily recovering since. "Once I was diagnosed I couldn’t leave the hospital. I was basically waiting every day for someone to die so I could have their heart. That really messes with your mind," he reveals.

Following a successful heart transplant, he is now currently taking part in a record breaking 6000m ascent up Cotopaxi in Ecuador, the highest live volcano in the world, with 12 other transplant survivors. The climb will take over two weeks.

Seven of the climbers have had a heart transplant and six have had a lung transplant. They are being accompanied by the two surgeons who have performed their life-saving transplants.

Andre Simon, director of Transplantation and consultant cardiac surgeon, one of the doctors on the expedition said: "It has been a dream of mine to take a group of our transplant patients, and show the world what can be achieved after a life-saving transplant. In doing so, we will raise the bar of expectation and generate significant awareness of organ donation. Continue reading