A LEYLAND man given just four-weeks to live is celebrating the anniversary of life-saving heart transplant surgery that gave him a second chance.

This time last year Frank Barton, 51, was facing death after developing the heart disease Cardiomyopathy around three years ago. It was caused by a virus and quickly attacked Frank's heart muscles.

Doctors held out little hope that he would make a full recovery without heart transplant surgery.

The former Berry's Woodyard worker from St John's Green, off Bannister Drive, in Leyland, was given a new heart at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester a year ago yesterday (Wednesday).

To celebrate his new-found health, Frank and his wife Kathy, popped into their local pub the Broadfield Arms in Leyland Lane for a drink with friends and relatives.

Frank's wife, Kathy, a sheltered accommodation warden in Leyland, said: "He was on the list waiting for a new heart, but a doctor told us Frank had only got four weeks left to live. He just had a month left when suddenly they found a donor for him."

Ann Stuart, manager of Wythenshawe Hospital's 'New Heart -- New Start' appeal, which is trying to raise awareness of heart transplants, added: "Frank is one of a rapidly growing number of peopl throughout the region whose renewed zest for life clearly demonstrates the real benefits of transplantation in human terms."

Now back to full health Frank takes regular walks and gets plenty of exercise. The couple and their two children are also planning to move house in Leyland.

Kathy said: "Frank is a mad Blackburn Rovers supporter. After he had the transplant, he got better just as the football was starting again. It was almost as if he was just ill out of football season!"

To donate money to the hospital's transplant fund call 0161 945 2166.