Who We Are

The FHLTA is a voluntary organisation consisting of heart and or lung transplant recipients, families and their supporters

The Freeman Heart & Lung Transplant Association (FHLTA)


Introducing the Trustees (left to right – top row first):

Adele Lambert (Chair), Jon Comb (Vice Chair), Debbie Burdon (Treasurer), Stephen Kee (Secretary), Lisa Hertwig (Sports Manager), Simon Ripley (Assistant Sports Manager), Louise McLellan (Communications Officer) and Michelle Saunders (Children’s Representative).



The FHLTA is a voluntary organisation consisting of heart and or lung transplant recipients, families and their supporters of the Freeman Hospital 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

A brief history of the Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association (FHLTA)

The Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association (FHLTA) was founded in 1989 by Tony Armstrong, Fred Morton, Bob Lyle and Lynne Holt.

In the early days the meetings were held at Cheviot Court.  On a monthly basis there was a meet up in Newcastle for a meal all paid for by the individuals.  The Association was purely for social get together’s.

The FHLTA was usually served by local transplantees  in the early days, the furthest travelling all the way from Forest Hall!

During these early years the FHLTA always held their Christmas party at the Freeman hospital.

The first British Transplant Games that the FHLTA attended was in 1994 and in the Wirral.  The FHLTA shared a hire bus with the kidney transplantees.

The Transplant Games (World, European and British) were always popular (although the then Chair didn’t always agree)!

During the mid 90’s the FHLTA had Joan Whitney as Treasurer, Barry Brailford as Chair, Judith Burgess as Secretary, David Donkin as Sport’s Manager and Derek Airey as vice chair.  It was during this time that the Freeman hospital won the contract for congenital conditions which widened the membership of the Association.

The years were rolling by and as more transplanted patients came through the Freeman the FHLTA committee developed.

1997 saw the blossoming of the FHLTA.  We not only increased in numbers but also in outreach work.

Members of the FHLTA volunteered to spread the message of the importance of Organ Donation.  They did this working alongside all the big department stores in Newcastle and visited St James Park (Newcastle United Football Club Stadium).  One time they even managed to borrow a big red London bus and manned it on Northumberland Street, all to get the organ donation awareness message out there.

The FHLTA produced a newsletter on a regular basis (long before data protection).  There are plans to offer this again, but need to get round all the legalities.

Through countless volunteers over the years and the hard work the FHLTA were able to move into finance too.  The FHLTA receive donations through events, charity runs, one-off donations, the list goes on.  Through this we can support research, training, support to transplantees.

The aims and objectives of the FHLTA remain the same.

The Institute of Transplantation opened on the 27th September 2013.  This is a fantastic purpose built facility available to all transplantees.

Derek Airey served as a member, vice chair, managed the flats from 1994 to becoming the chair in 2000. Derek sadly passed in 2023 whilst holding the role of honourably President.

Today the FHLTA is still carrying out all the aims of the founder members and much more besides.

Registered Charity Number: 1157894

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