GIFT OF LIFE Join the organ donor register this Christmas and help someone like 21-year-old Jim, who desperately needs a new heart

THE SUN | Christina Earle

University student Jim can only leave the house for eight hours a day and has to carry spare batteries everywhere he goes, in case the machine pumping his blood stops working

JIM LYNSKEY would love nothing more than a new heart this Christmas.

The university student, 21, can leave the house for no more than eight hours a day and has to carry spare batteries – in case the machine that keeps his blood pumping stops working.

He was fitted with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) after being diagnosed with heart failure at 19.

It is a box the size of an iPhone in his chest, charged via a wire attached to his abdomen.

Forgetting to charge it, knocking it or getting it wet could cost him his life.

Jim says: “I was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, a condition which causes an irregular heart rhythm, after contracting meningitis when I was one week old. My twin sister, Grace, had the life-threatening illness but made a full recovery.

“My heart problem got worse over the years. When I was eight it stopped beating and I was given CPR, which saved my life. Then I was fitted with a special machine to shock my heart into working if it stopped. But when I was 17, things rapidly declined.” Continue reading