Longest Surviving Heart Transplant Recipient Says It's Time to Change the Way We Do Organ Donation

Digital Journal

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - March 22, 2016) - Thirty years ago retired professional soccer player Simon Keith received a new heart, and as one of the world's longest surviving heart transplant recipients, he is returning to his donor's hometown of Newport, Wales, U.K. to support organ donor awareness and the need for reforms in his two home countries of US and Canada.

During the April 30th soccer match organized by his heart donor's best friend, and one that Simon Keith hopes receives global attention, professional celebrity players from the UK will take on a team of organ transplant recipients, chosen by the UK's Transplant Sport and coached by Simon. Played at Rodney Parade, Newport South Wales, the celebrity team will be led by Newport coach and ex-professional player Mike Flynn.

Simon Keith also hopes the UK's Match for Life will raise awareness of the organ donation reforms announced by Wales, which changed consent for organ donation from opt-in to "soft opt-out" in December, a move which the local government hopes leads to a 25% increase in the number of organs available.

"Within me beats the heart of an incredible young Welsh athlete, whose loss of life enabled me to live mine. Since receiving this gift of life, I have dedicated my time advocating for organ donation awareness and the benefits of living an active lifestyle following an organ transplant," says 50-year old Simon Keith, who feels North America can learn from the courageous decision made by Wales. Continue reading
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