JAN Lockett, 56, from Leominster is part of a group of 'heart mums' whose lives have all been affected by heart conditions and organ donation.

The mums came from across the UK, to meet for the first time at the iconic Heart of Steel sculpture in Sheffield's Meadowhall Shopping Centre recently. 

All of the women have been changed drastically due to heart conditions that have led to them or their children receiving a life changing organ donation. Poignantly they chose to meet at the Heart of Steel as everyone has benefitted from the British Heart Foundation's life saving research into heart and circulatory conditions. 

As a child Jan was diagnosed was with bone cancer when she was 14 years old but was successfully treated with chemotherapy.

Aged 48, after suffering two heart attacks and three mini strokes, doctors told Jan her organs were failing and she would need a heart transplant to survive.

In November 2011 aged 49 with less than two weeks to live, Jan received a life saving heart transplant.

She said: "Before my transplant my heart was functioning at 7%. After my heart transplant I could hear the heart beats echoing through the mattress, it was incredible, they were so loud.

"I've received the greatest gift that anyone can give. I will forever be grateful to my donor family. I've been able to watch my son grow up and buy his own house."

The group have a special bond yet despite years of friendships, formed on support sites for parents of children who have undergone serious surgery and heart transplant survivor Facebook groups, this was the first time they all met face to face.

Jan has the date of her heart transplant engraved on the Heart of Steel. She said: "All the ladies that came are connected in some way by our hearts. Whether we are recipients of a heart or our children have a heart condition we've all formed some great friendships over the years.

"It's so powerful to think that without the BHF's life saving research a lot us might not be here. It's been so special to be here and get to meet all these incredible heart warriors and celebrate our heart journeys at the Heart of Steel."

The Heart of Steel sculpture was designed by local steelworker-turned-artist Steve Mehdi, and funded with support from local Yorkshire businesses. Each of the attendees to the recent meet-up has had their name, and in some cases the names of their family members or a special date engraved on the heart.


As of the April 1, around 22,000 people have had a name engraved on the Heart of Steel raising an incredible £476,000 to help fund the British Heart Foundation's life saving research across the UK. 

To find out more about the Heart of Steel and how it is helping the British Heart Foundation to fundraise, visit bhf.org.uk/heartofsteel