‘Transplant is my son’s big chance’

Waiting Game: Runshaw College student Toby Snape
Waiting Game: Runshaw College student Toby Snape

The mother of a Leyland student who is awaiting a heart transplant is hoping this is the year her son will finally get his life back.

Toby Snape, who attends Runshaw College, has just returned home from hospital after a blood clot got stuck in a machine that is keeping him alive.

The 18-year-old has a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy - which also killed his brother Shaun on Boxing Day 2006.

He’s being kept alive by a mechanical pump, that was sewn into his heart, and is connected to a powerpack via a cord that comes through his abdomen.

However he nearly died last month after a blood clot got stuck in the machine and he started to display signs of organ failure.

His desperate mum Debbie Taylor said the family is now hoping that a heart transplant becomes available in 2011.

She said: “We’re just waiting for the call that will give his quality of life back.

“We know that a transplant is the only solution so our lives are on hold until it happens.

“There is a national shortage of donor organs and for one to become available for Toby means another family suffering their own tragedy.

“We don’t wish that on anyone but we would just ask people discuss becoming a donor before they ever have to make a decision.”

Despite his illness Toby is doing A-Levels in chemistry and biology at Runshaw College and he hopes to become a doctor specialising in heart medicine.

Debbie said: “He just takes everything in his stride, he’s my hero.

“He spends a lot of his time playing computer games but I hope that one day he will be able to go outdoors like other teenage boys.

“He lost a stone in weight while he was in hospital but he’s put some of it back on.”

As for Toby he said: “I can deal with everything else but my fear was having a stroke.

“I’ll never give up. The only long-term solution is a heart transplant.

“We’re on call for a transplant 24/7 but I’m just getting on with my life.”