A MAN has spoken out about his agonisingly long wait for a life-saving heart transplant.

Patrick McCann, 37, from Padiham, has been on the waiting list for a transplant for more than four years due to a shortage of organ donors.

Mr McCann, who was born with a heart defect, said his time on the list has filled him with uncertainty for his future.

He said: "I have recently had to quit my job in retail due to feeling anxious and also due to chest pains and tiredness while working.

“I try to keep myself occupied and have recently completed a counselling course which really helped me to deal with the feelings stirred up by waiting for a transplant. Such as if I get my transplant in time, how I will feel after my transplant and if I will survive.

“I am now looking for something to fill my time while waiting for my heart transplant

“I try to live as best I can. I have suffered more mentally than physically while waiting for my heart transplant. Something I never thought would be the case.

“It's a journey that, unless you have been through it I guess would be difficult to comprehend. It often feels like I am stuck. I find my mood alters daily and I get down, quiet and sad a lot. I try to enjoy times when my physical and mental health are better."

He said he would love to compete in the transplant games one day and wants to raise awareness so others will come forward and donate their organs.

Mr McCann has spoken out with World Heart Day taking place on Sunday (September 29).

NHS Blood and Transplant said there are currently 313 heart patients waiting for a lifesaving transplant, with waiting lists for hearts increasing more than 130 per cent in the last decade.

The average wait for an adult who needs a heart transplant is nearly three years.

Last year 21 patients died before they could receive the heart transplant they desperately needed and 201 people have lost their lives in the last five years in need of a heart transplant.

Mr McCann added: “Organ donation is an amazing thing for someone to do for someone else. I would feel immensely proud to get a transplant and I would feel I would live life more fully, to make the most of a new heart.

“I would say to others that if they would accept an organ would they be willing to donate their organs when the time comes? It is also vital that they share their organ donation wishes with their loved ones.

“If you knew the power that organs can hold, the ability to bring someone back from the brink of death, I think more people would realise that donating organs is a selfless amazing act that can save people's lives.

“Having struggled with my health all my life it would be great to be able to finally feel what it's like to have a healthy heart.”