Transplant operation goes ahead after crash

A TRANSPLANT patient was recuperating in hospital last night after receiving a new liver just hours after the donated organ was involved in a plane crash.

The liver was on board a private Cessna that crash-landed on the tarmac in foggy conditions at Birmingham Airport on Friday after arriving from Belfast.

Two men on board were injured and the airport was shut until noon yesterday while investigators probed the cause of the accident.

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But the liver was not damaged, and a spokeswoman from the city's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said the transplant was carried out successfully last night and the patient was in a stable condition.

She said: "The recipient is stable, as would be expected at this time."

She said the operation was the sixth liver transplant in five days at the hospital.

"The operation took under four hours and was carried out by three surgeons, an anaesthetist, a scrub nurse and a team of skilled theatre staff," she added.

"The transplant team would like to thank the pilot of the light aircraft and his colleague for their bravery. Our thoughts are with the individuals and their families.

"The team would also like to thank the quick thinking of the fire and rescue teams at the scene who saved the organ."

Yesterday it emerged an air ambulance pilot bravely entered the burning Cessna to cut off the fuel supply and allow medical staff to reach the trapped pilot following the crash.