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Report: Teenager turns down life-saving operation

A teenager from West Yorkshire has turned down a life saving double transplant for the second time in the hope that his quality of life will be better without the gruelling operation.

Liam Gawthorpe first said no to the operation when he was younger, and now at the age of 18 he's still says he'd rather just let nature take its course than face major surgery.

It's a decision that his parents say is as brave as it is heartbreaking. Claire Ashforth reports.

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Facts about heart and lung transplants

Heart and lung transplants involve major surgical procedure and are rarely performed. During the surgery, a person's diseased heart and lungs are replaced with the heart and lungs of someone who has recently died.

The NHS says heart and lung transplants are only carried out when all other treatment options have been exhausted. A 2010 study that assessed the long-term outcomes of people who have had a heart-lung transplant found that:

  • 70% will survive for one year
  • 50% will survive for two years
  • 39% will survive for five years

You can find out more about heart and lung transplants here.

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Video: Over a hundred people in Bradford need life-saving transplants

It is a subject that many of us, understandably, find difficult to talk about - what happens to our organs once we die.

But, as new figures reveal 128 people in Bradford alone are waiting for a life-saving transplant, we're being urged to discuss our wishes with our family. Just one person's organs can save up to nine lives - and give someone else a future.

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