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One of the country's oldest transplant survivors from Forest of Dean is honoured with reception

Steve Syer needed a transplant following heart failure. Credit: ITV West Country

A 76-year-old man from the Forest of Dean has celebrated becoming one of the country's oldest heart transplant survivors.

Steve Syer was given a new heart in 1984 after suddenly developing viral cardiomyopathy.

He was told by doctors he would be lucky if he survived a year after the transplant, but 35 years later is still alive to tell the tale.

Thanks to the transplant Steve has been able to see his family expand. Credit: ITV West Country

A reception to honour Steve was held at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Thursday 21 March.

Since the transplant Steve and his wife have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for heart charities, including the British Heart Foundation.

Initially they said if I lasted a year, that would be good. If I lasted five years, that would almost be a miracle because nobody had lasted five years at that stage.

– Steve Syer

A letter was read out for Steve by Professor Magdi Yacoub, the surgeon who carried out Steve's lifesaving transplant.

His daughter was also there and said because of "some generous, selfless person...I have had 35 years of my Dad that I shouldn't have had."

Steve and his wife have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for heart charities since the transplant. Credit: ITV West Country

Steve is now a double transplant patient after receiving a kidney from his wife when his started to fail.

According to the British Heart Foundation, this is a common result of the anti-rejection medication that transplant recipients take.

As a result of the heart transplant Steve has seen his children grow into adults, held six grandchildren and a growing number of great grandchildren.