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Dad leads daughter to the altar and has 6 organ transplants the next day after the call on the wedding day

Nothing could hide the smile on Richard Gibson’s face as he led his youngest daughter to the altar – not even the agony he felt with every step.

The amorous father reported himself from the hospital to give Jenny away after spending more than a year waiting for six new organs. And her seemingly perfect day should get even better.

Less than an hour after the ceremony, doctors called Richard with news that a donor had been found.

After a tearful goodbye to his family, he flew to Cambridge to be treated the next morning by the only team in Britain ready to attempt such an enormous transplant.

Replacing the kidney, liver, intestines, stomach, spleen and pancreas took 21 hours as the surgeons worked in shifts so they could operate safely.

Nothing could stop Richard from smiling as he led his daughter to the altar

Richard needed a liver and kidney transplant, but soon needed more after multiple organ failure

Perfect Jenny, 31, said: “I couldn’t imagine getting married without him giving me away – that was all that was important to me. But as we got closer to my wedding, I could see he was getting sicker and sicker.

“I didn’t think he would make it. I even planned to stop the wedding car at the hospital so he could see me in my dress. Having him there and then finding a donor was the perfect wedding present. “

Richard, 57, said, “I didn’t know how much longer I had so I was determined to lead Jenny to the altar. As long as I did this, I didn’t worry for the rest of the day. Then it was very emotional to get that call.

“It was hard to believe that it actually happened.”

Richard fell ill at the wedding of their eldest daughter Lisa in July 2016 in Cyprus. He was barely healthy enough to travel home – and was hospitalized with complications from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Surgeons in London were planning a liver and kidney transplant, but when Richard was high on the waiting list the following year, he suffered from multiple organ failure.

He attended his surgery in England the day after Jenny’s marriage

Richard’s kidneys, liver, intestines, stomach, spleen and pancreas were replaced in a 21-hour operation

Richard from Belfast said: “You said there was nothing you could do, the operation was too complex. It was devastating, suddenly all our hope was gone. “

But a team from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge offered to perform the operation instead.

“That was a real shock. Little did we know the operation was even possible, ”Richard said.

However, it was deteriorating so quickly that there was no guarantee that a donor would be found in time. And his family feared he might not survive until Jenny’s wedding – or be too sick to attend.

There was a brief glimmer of hope when Richard was called to Cambridge, but the transplant was canceled at the last minute because the organs did not fit well enough.

So the family hastily arranged a second, smaller wedding for the immediate family.

Richard now looks much healthier and can spend time with his grandchildren

It was scheduled for New Year’s Eve 2017 – and Richard and Jenny are now telling their story as a thank you to the doctors and to promote organ donation.

Jenny remembered her big day: “I was at work and my sister Lisa called me and told me she had found a venue. I hung up the phone and said, ‘Gosh, I’m getting married on Saturday’.

“Lisa and my mom sorted everything. They found me a silver dress, booked a limousine, arranged the flowers. It was amazing.”

Their decision was justified when Richard fell seriously ill on a dialysis appointment on December 30th and was hospitalized.

His family stayed with him until 3:30 a.m. when he persuaded them to go home and rest before the wedding.

Richard checked out later that morning and came home just in time for a quick cup of tea before putting on his wedding suit.

Richard said organ donation gave him a second chance in life

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Jenny said, “Every time the wedding car drove over a bump you could see it tense up. He never stopped smiling, but you could see he was in such intense pain. He looked gray and fragile. He could hardly speak, but he was there. “

After the ceremony, Richard posed for photos with Jenny and groom Adam before resting in his hotel room.

He checked his phone and saw a missed call from the hospital.

Richard said, “It was a mixture of panic and excitement. Suddenly I forgot all the pain. “

Bridesmaid Lisa was about to deliver the bride’s father’s speech on her father’s behalf when he burst in to bring them the news.

Lisa, 34, said, “He came running across the room even though he could barely walk a few minutes ago. When he called the hospital and gave us the thumbs up, we all burst into tears. “

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Jenny said, “Daddy had to leave right now so we couldn’t dance together. His favorite song was Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler, so the DJ put everyone on the dance floor in his honor. “

Richard traveled to England with his wife, Joan, 57, and underwent a series of tests on New Years Day prior to the multiple transplants.

It was on the operating table until 5 a.m., that was Joan’s birthday and the day Jenny was to leave for her honeymoon in Dubai.

Jenny said, “We were told Daddy would be in intensive care and not be able to speak right away, but as soon as he woke up he wished Mom a happy birthday.”

Richard was in the hospital until the end of March. At home he watched the wedding DVD because he couldn’t remember everything because of the pain.

At Christmas 2018, Richard’s family bought him a bank for organ donation and a week later they celebrated the anniversary of his transplant with a cake modeled on the children’s game Operation.

Three years later, Richard looks so much healthier – and only a few months ago did he end a Covid attack. And thanks to his donor, the former bus driver was able to meet and play with his two grandchildren Archie (now two) and Rickson (10 months).

Richard said, “I will always be incredibly grateful to my donor. After being told that a transplant is not an option for me, they gave me a second chance. My life has changed so much.

“Holding Archie for the first time was wonderful because I didn’t know if that would ever happen. I only owe that to my donor. “

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