Richard Priest

Richard's Lands End to Royal Papworth and possibly beyond

Fundraising for Royal Papworth Hospital Charity
raised of £5,000 target
by 132 supporters
We support Royal Papworth Hospital to enhance patient care and treatment


Royal Papworth Hospital has always ensured that it puts patients and their families at the heart of everything it does. The Charity is committed to supporting patients and their carers and seeks to enhance the support it provides to the Hospital. Charitable funds have enabled the Hospital to provide care beyond that of NHS funding alone, enhancing the Hospital’s status as the UK’s leading provider of specialist cardiothoracic care and the country’s main heart and lung transplant centre.

Hello, my name is Richard Priest and I am a pre heart transplant patient currently waiting in Royal Papworth for a donor organ. I am forever grateful for the treatment given to me so far, and for any future treatment that Royal Papworth is given to me. I know money can never repay this, but I. The meanwhile I will do everything I can to make things better for other patients.

I have decided to use the exercise bike to cycle from Land's End to Royal Papworth (370 miles or 595km). If I manage to finish thus before I receive the donor heart, I'll try to carry on to John O'Groats. If I complete that 🙄, I'll think of somewhere else to cycle to. If you can spare a few bob please put it to good use and keep Papworth at the top of its game. Ive already started and completed about 45km in new money). I'll put up pictures of my progress. 

That's the interesting bit done, but if you want a little light reading, here's why I ended up here. This is an excerpt from a blog I did for a post transplant patient who interviewed me for a podcast. Once it's up and running, I'll put the link up. 

From an early age I was never very good at activities that required any stamina. I always put it down to being unfit as I had no personal reference, apart from my friends who seemed to excel at sports in my eyes. This carried on though my teenage years and into my 20s. My mother died in 1995 from heart failure while she was waiting for treatment for an enlarged heart. Her death was preceded by two strokes caused by the heart condition. In 2004 I suffered a small stroke and on investigation it was discovered that I had an enlarged side to my heart, or Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. The condition was made more bearable by medication over the years, but it was never going to get any better. As soon as I was advised by The Chest Hospital at St Barts in 2014, I requested that my condition was handled by Papworth because at the end of the day they were the best people to fix me. In 2019 my heart went downhill and in November I stopped work and was put onto the donor register. My health deteriorated over the following two months and I was admitted to Papworth on New Years Eve 2019 with fluid overload and a severely reduced kidney function. I've been in Papworth ever since.

I'm on the urgent donor list due to the intravenous Dopamine that keeps my heart going. I'm taking several diuretics to keep my body clear of fluid, but this has the effect of drying me out. This means that I have to to take a couple of laxatives to keep me 'regular'. It's a fine line. I haven't been fitted with a pacemaker or an ICE, so the most uncomfortable procedure that I experience is the three monthly Right Heart Catheter (RHC). That and the weekly throat and nose swabs to check for Covid which makes you gag and irritates the back of your nose.
The staff here are a cut above the rest, nothing is too much trouble for them. From the transplant team and the nursing staff, the physios, occupational health through to the catering and housekeeping they are so professional and want to make your stay as painless as possible. They are the best in the world. I've been here for just over 4 months now, but I'm still confident that I will receive the donor heart and start my second life.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. 😊

About the charity

We support the work of Royal Papworth Hospital as the UK’s leading centre of excellence for the treatment and diagnosis of cardiothoracic disease, to provide additional amenities for our patients and their families and to fund Papworth’s pioneering research activity and vision for the future.

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