Gordon Hutchison, from East Kilbride, grew up knowing the day would come when he’d need a heart transplant to save his life.
Born with a congenital heart defect, Gordon, now 26, needed surgery at just 11 months old to insert a pig skin valve to keep his heart pumping.
His heart then failed when he was 13 and after being assessed, the teenager was placed on the transplant waiting list. Luckily, the wait was short and the call came six weeks later to say that a suitable donor heart was available.
Gordon was flown by air ambulance to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and spent 12 hours in surgery. When he awoke the next day he tapped his chest a few times and gave his parents and brothers the thumbs up before heading back to sleep.
After three months recovering he was discharged and amazingly, returned to school in time for the new term that August.
“The life I lived before the heart transplant compared to my life now is night and day. Previously I couldn’t walk ten yards, now I can run ten miles.
“Growing up I was very small for my age and prone to infections. I couldn’t play football or do a lot of things other kids could. My illness and hospital visits used to control every part of our life as a family, and my new heart gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. After the transplant, being back at school with my mates and living life to the full was just amazing.”
Gordon married his wife Catriona in 2013, and the couple replaced the traditional wedding favours with NHS Organ Donor sign up forms, to acknowledge the gift he received from his donor and their family on his big day.
Speaking about his involvement in the new TV advert, Gordon added:
“An organ donor saved my life. That’s why I’m backing the call to get everybody in Scotland on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
“Stripping for a TV advert was certainly not an average day at the office, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I genuinely would do almost anything to make people realise how life changing organ donation is.
“That’s probably my fifteen minutes of fame up, but I couldn’t think of a better way to use them. Because of my donor, I was able to grow into a teenager, play football, pass my driving test, get my first job and marry Catriona. Things I’m grateful for every day.
“I think the campaign is brilliant and will certainly raise eyebrows. If you support organ donation and haven’t yet joined the Register, please do it now. I promise it’ll be a lot easier than taking your kit off.”