A young vegetarian girl, Robyn Cairney, 20, was saved after she had a transplant operation (aortic valve replacement) using a heart valve from a pig. She said, "I'm a vegetarian so it was a difficult choice, but it was a life or death one." Following the revolutionary procedure Robyn feels she is now fitter, faster and stronger than ever.
In 2009, Robyn collapsed while running during a fitness class and was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart murmur (aortic stenosis and regurgitation). In June 2009, the pig valve was fitted in an operation at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank. The pig valve is expected to last about 20-years.
After 8-months of painstaking physiotherapy, Robyn participated in a 10km charity run last September. Now she is well enough to follow her dream of becoming a sports therapist.
Robyn hopes doctors will not have to open her chest in the future.