She’s dancing with all her new heart

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A HEART transplant patient who was once too weak to walk is celebrating an energetic new future – as a Bollywood dance teacher.

Reena Patalay will be demonstrating her skills this month at Heartswitch, a concert she has organised to raise money for Harefield Hospital.

Guest of honour will be Newport Pagnell man John McCafferty who is the world’s longest surviving heart transplant patient after his pioneering surgery nearly 30 years ago.

Young mum Reena, whose heart was destroyed by a virus after her son was born, spoke to 69-year-old John before her own transplant two years ago.

“He gave us hope. It was because of him that we decided to go ahead,” said her husband Avinash.

Last year, 18 months after her surgery, Reena held her first Heartswitch concert and raised £2,700 for Harefield.

“She performed her Bollywood and afterwards people came up and asked if she would teach their children to dance,” said Avinash.

Now Reena’s skills are in such demand that she holds twice weekly dance classes at her Great Holm home.

She will be joined by her young students at Heartswitch, which will be held at Queens Court in thecentre:mk.

Also performing will be fellow transplant patient 22-year-old Hayden Purcell, who Reena met while in hospital.

Musician Hayden, who lives near Leighton Buzzard, has just released his debut single called When You Fell.

He, Reena and John are all keen to raise awareness of organ donation and are urging people to carry NHS donor cards.