About the FHLTA

The Freeman Heart & Lung Transplant Association (FHLTA)

The FHLTA is a voluntary organisation consisting of heart and or lung transplant recipients, families and their supporters. We hope you find our website informative and helpful.

The Freeman Hospital is located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.

Aims and Objectives of the FHLTA

  • To relieve Heart & Lung transplant patients of the Freeman Hospital, who are sick and convalescing or in need of assistance, advice or facilities for recreation in order to improve their conditions of life and generally support the charitable work of the said hospital.
  • To advance the education of the public in the needs of transplantation and to mobilise, encourage, foster and maintain the interest and support of the public.
  • To give and exchange information and advice to promote education in all matters relating to transplantation.
  • To provide or assist in the provision of amenities in the Freeman Hospital including equipment, which may be needed for the benefit of Heart and Lung transplant patient

In the beginning…..

…..Mr William Hewlett, co founder of the computer company Hewlett Packard, underwent a coronary by-pass operation at the Stanford Medical Centre in California. The surgeon that day was Mr Chris McGregor.

By way of thanks Mr Hewlett gave Mr McGregor funding for four heart transplants to be carried out at the Freeman Hospital. The year was 1985. The money was enough for 6 heart transplants and the monitoring equipment on the ward at that time was Hewlett Packard as was the defribultator.

The next couple of transplants were funded thanks to Operation Heart Beat run in conjunction with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and wonderfully supported by the people of the north east. The government then designated and funded the Freeman Hospital as the third transplant centre in the UK.

The Freeman Hospital is now regarded as a centre of excellence for both heart and lung transplants in the UK. Patients from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire are treated alongside those from all parts of the north of England. To date (July 2009) there have been over 1,500 transplants performed on adults and children.

The first successful single lung transplant in Europe was performed here in Newcastle and the longest surviving baby heart transplant recipient in the UK is now 21 years old.

The Freeman Hospital is known throughout the world for it’s pioneering research and excellence and celebrated it’s 21st anniversary of heart and lung transplants in May 2006.

From 1987 Professor John Dark directed the transplant programme.

Since 2009 the new Director of Cardiopulmonary Transplantation is Professor Paul A Corris FRCP.

Transplant Figures to April 2012:

Adults Children
Total number of transplants performed 1725 236
Heart transplants 724 219
Heart & Lung 75 2
Single Lung 295 2
Bilateral Lung 431 13

There is currently a waiting list of patients for either a heart or lung transplant at the Freeman Hospital (including children), and with the shortage of suitable organ donor’s, sadly, many will die waiting.

The success of the transplant programme relies on the dedication of a large multidisciplinary team, skilled in every area of transplantation.

Without the generosity of the donor families, our programme would cease to exist.


The Freeman transplant sports team takes part in many sports and if you would like to become involved, at any level, get in touch. I hope these pages give you a taste of the fun and benefits that sport can offer after your transplant.

By participating in sport you are promoting the transplant programme and raising awareness of the need to carry donor cards. To win is definitely a bonus, taking part is much more important.

Sport is a celebration of “The Gift of Life.”