Dad dies days after heart transplant

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A 34-year-old father died of a massive brain bleed just days after receiving a heart transplant.

Steven Ellwood, who lived in Dundee with his wife and 19 month old son, had suffered from health problems since he was a teenager.

He successfully underwent the heart transplant on Friday which he and his family hoped would transform his health and life.

But on Sunday his family were told he’d suffered a “massive bleed to the brain”.

 

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Steven with his 19-month-old son Jack

 

His wife has described the moment his life support machine off as “the hardest decisions I’ve ever made”.

Meanwhile Steven’s parents paid tribute to their son who, a keen footballer and big Dundee United fan whose dream was to start a family.

Steven’s wife, 28-year-old Karen Ellwood, said: “In the early hours of Friday morning we got the call to go to Glasgow. Steven went for the transplant at about 2pm on Friday.

“On Saturday he was stable and on Sunday, as far as we knew, he was stable.

“On Sunday night we were told he’d had a massive bleed to the brain and he wasn’t coming back.

“At the back of midnight we decided we were going to turn the life support off.

 

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Steven with his wife Karen and their son Jack just a day after he was born

 

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made.”

She added: “The support we had in the Jubilee was second to none. The doctors were brilliant but they couldn’t understand what went wrong.

“They said it was very rare for this to happen and we may never know exactly what happened.”

Steven had once dreamed of being a professional footballer but suffered ill health since being diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 18.

He suffered a heart attack in 2007 and was told he would need a heart transplant last summer.

Karen, who works a dental nurse in Broughty Ferry, continued: “I would say for the last 18 months it has been worse for Steven. He had breathlessness and struggled to walk up stairs.

“He had Thursday off to look after Jack while I went to work so he was able to spend one last day with his son.”

Steven’s mother Iris paid tribute to her son whose two great loves where “family and football”.

 

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Steven’s mother said he always dreamed of starting a family

 

“We would hear from him every day,” she said. “His dream was to get married, have a house and have a family and he got there.

“His main love in life was for his family and football.

“He played football from when he could walk. He played for both his primary and secondary schools. He played for various football clubs until his diabetes.”

She said Steven was a big Dundee United fan.

“His dad started taking him when he was young – he was a big supporter.”

Talking about her son’s health problems she explained: “He contracted type one diabetes when he was 18. He had been a healthy child since birth. It was a viral thing they think.”

Talking about his heart condition which led to him having a heart attack in 2007 she said: “They think it was a viral thing as well but they don’t know if it is linked.

“He’d been unwell for the last few years.

“We always knew a transplant would be on the cards – we thought it would be longer time away.”

Iris continued: “We all went there on Friday and sat with him until he went through to theatre.

“It was a very long morning and day. We knew there could be complications, but not like this.”

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