Rory McGrath to gig at Clifton Hill House to raise awareness of organ donation
COMEDIAN Rory McGrath will be performing at a gig in the city to raise awareness of organ donation after his Bristol University student godson came out of hospital following a long-awaited heart transplant.
Mr McGrath will be taking part in the fundraising event tonight alongside actor and composer Phil Pope, whose son Will returned home on Tuesday after 197 days in hospital.
The Post first reported last year that the 20-year-old needed a transplant.
He initially became unwell in 2009, when it was discovered that a virus had attacked his heart. A heart pump was installed but last year he became unwell again and it was discovered that his heart had deteriorated and the transplant was the only solution.
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Will had been in Harefield Hospital in Middlesex since August and finally had the 12-hour transplant operation on New Year's Eve.
The gig at Clifton Hill House was organised by fellow Bristol University students and Will's cousin Meg, who works as an events manager in the city. It is raising money for Harefield Hospital and awareness of organ donation so that other people benefit from transplants as Will has.
Mr Pope, who grew up in Clevedon, and Mr McGrath are in the process of developing a show together and thought they would offer their support to the gig.
"We mainly do silly, funny songs and did a show a while ago that was a country and western spoof, so we may do one or two songs from that," Mr Pope said.
Mr McGrath said: "I would do anything for Will, having known him since he was extremely little. This whole thing has been so difficult for everyone.
"This gig is just a great thing to do, a fun thing to do."
Mr Pope said: "Will came home on Tuesday and is already enjoying himself, being with his brothers, dogs and eating his mother's cooking.
"The new heart is fantastic and he is doing very well. There don't seem, touch wood, to be any problems."
Mr Pope said that Will is still weak and needs physiotherapy to rebuild his strength, as well as drugs to help his recovery, but the surgeon is optimistic that he will be able to return to his studies in the new academic year.
"That's the aim – to get him back to Bristol, enjoying himself," Mr Pope said.
The gig starts at 7pm tonight at Clifton Hill House, Lower Clifton Hill. Tickets are available through http://willpope.eventbrite.com/#.