Project information

Childrens Heart Transplantation,OCS Transmedics

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle is one of only two centres in the UK performing heart transplants for babies and children. 20 paediatric lifesaving heart transplants are performed each year. Only 5 centres in the UK are using OCS Transmedics in heart transplantation.
Aim to support 4 children

Withinthe next 12 months

Charity information: Children's Heart Unit Fund

Children's Heart Unit Fund logo
  • Need


    Paediatric transplantation is risky
    We aim to support families and their children through the trauma of heart transplantation by funding the most innovative equipment for use by our incredibly talented Cardiologist and surgeons. Current equipment provides a 4-hour timescale to both retrieve and transplant a new heart. The new OCS equipment allows up to 24 hours. It also allows the surgeon to assess the viability of the new heart before risking transplantation .


    We will provide the vital funding for disposables for 4 transplant operations.
    This will help with increased timescales to retrieve and transplant the donor heart that will reach the recipient beating.
    The donor heart can be transferred to the recipient hospital in a more relaxed fashion Technology will allow expansion of the donor pool, and consider organs that in the past would have never been considered for (donor after cardiac death).

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To fund 4 additional sets of OCS disposables over the next 12 month for the Cardiology team


    » We will work with our major donors / our community fundraisers to raise the necessary funding for the equipment. Our supporters are keen to support

    We will update our supporters and donors once our funds have been raised . We will update on our website , in our newsletters .

    Aim 2

    Increased awareness of the equipment the importance of organ donation/transplantation


    » The equipment will display our branding highlighting our support, we will highlight the equipment on our website, newsletter and social media

    We will seek quotes from the Cardiac team and seek media coverage to link our project to organ donation and transplantation

  • Impact


    Significant advances in transplant medical procedures with the long-term view of supporting the provision of such equipment for any child in need of a transplant who would benefit from this safer alternative route. As the equipment tests viability, this reduces the risk of transplanting a heart where the medical team have had little time to test its full viability. The team now have 24 hours to retrieve and transplant a donor heart


    A small risk that we are not able to secure full donations for all 4 sets, as each set of disposables costs £25,000 we are looking to secure 4 sets , if we were unable to raise the full amount we will reduce the numbers of sets we seek to fund . We have significant current pledges to reduce this risk.


    We will contact our donors to ask how they wish us to update and at what intervals. We are happy to update in person, by post or electronically .As with all of our large donations we invite our donors to personally visit the Children’s Heart unit to see first-hand the vital support we provide

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 OCS Transmedics purchase of 4 sets of disposables for OCS system
  • Background


    The project is at Freeman hospital in Newcastle , one of only two hospitals in the UK performing Paediatric heart transplants and only one of 5 in the UK with staff trained to use OCS Transmedics.
    Each year 300 children are admitted to the heart unit , approximately 20 will receive a transplanted heart and 1,000 return for outpatient treatment each year . The hospital now have fully trained team to undertake the project.


    4 children will benefit from the project
    Once they receive the call The Cardio thoracic team from Freeman hospital in Newcastle will travel across the UK or Europe to retrieve the donated hearts using the OCS equipment. The hearts will be maintained for up to 24 hours using the donated blood from the donor . The heart will be tested for up to 24 hours to minimise risks and then transplanted to a child anxiously waiting at for this opportunity

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are a small team of 6 staff. Over the last 35 year we have steadily grown, raising over £10m for the Freeman hospital. We work in close partnership with the medical teams to look at innovative ways to support their aims. We are the only charity that specially raises funds for this children’s heart unit, we feel very proud to be part of their family. We fund equipment , salaries, research and holistic support including family support , play therapists and a psychologist

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chris Gray

    Project fundraiser - link to Cardio team

    Fabrizio De Rita

    Heart surgeon