When John Jackson asked his wife Jane in 1991 what she wanted for her birthday, she replied “for you to receive a heart”.
John was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an inherited disease of the heart muscle, in 1989, and after spending a year on medication he was told he would need a heart transplant to survive.
On May 2, 1991, three months after being entered into the donation registry, John received a call from Northern General Hospital that a heart had become available.
The next day, which was Jane’s birthday, the couple were told that the donated heart was good and that John would be ready for the operation, granting Jane’s birthday wish.
After successful surgery, John had a life expectancy of just seven years, but lived three times as long – despite setbacks including cancer. Thanks to the dedication and care provided by the transplant and cardiopulmonary sisters at Northern General Hospital, John lived another 28 years.
He died in 2019, and Jane and close friend Greg, among others, honored John with a classic Northern Soul evening in his memory, raising over £5,000 for the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
The fundraiser was filled with dancing, fun and nostalgia. There was a raffle, auction and silent auction to raise money in John’s memory, raising a total of £5,157 for the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
Jane said: ‘I want to thank the heart transplant team who in John’s own words kept him going for so many years, especially to the two wonderful ladies, Helen who was the transplant co-ordinator and John’s nurse since 1999, and Emma his nurse since 2007.”
Jane and Greg have set the date for another Motown and Soul night in memory of John for October 1, 2022, which will be presented and hosted by Greg at Norton House Country Club Sheffield.