It was recently announced that double-lung transplant recipient, Michael Willis, passed away – three-years after undergoing what was a successful operation.
After being diagnosed with sarcoidosis - a rare lung condition - in 2016, following his transplant he raised nearly £12,000 for the NHS.
Since then, he and his wife Patricia founded The Michael Willis Foundation to raise awareness about organ donation.
A successful jewellery maker in Birmingham’s famed Jewellery Quarter, every year to mark his transplant anniversary the couple organised a black-tie event, through the Foundation, to raise funds for the NHS and promote organ donation. He previously had staff from the Royal Papworth in attendance.
Michael was told by doctors at the City Hospital in Birmingham that he had six months to live – unless he underwent the double lung transplant. Since then, he became a multi award winner for championing the awareness of organ donation – receiving a prominent award: The Phoenix Newspaper Champion Award, at the 9th Anniversary Show, which proved very special for him as the Award was presented by one of the very special people who gave him a “new life” - Consultant Surgeon Dr Yasir Abu-Omar.
Despite the various levels of Covid-19 restrictions over the past 18-months, he continued to raise funds, wherever and whenever he could – as well as continuing encouraging people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and help save and improve lives. He felt it his obligation to always show his gratitude for the treatment he received.
Continuing to raise funds for the Royal Papworth Hospital and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital to the bitter end, the husband, father and grandfather died, age 64.