A MAN given just five years to live after a heart transplant is still battling on, 22 years later.

Grandfather Raymond Mullins, from Buckley, had an emergency heart transplant when he was just 38 after contracting a virus.

The father-of-four was the 15th patient to be given the life-saving operation at Wythenshawe Hospital, in Manchester.

His daughter Alison said she is very proud of him.

She told the Leader: “It’s just brilliant that he’s made it to another year. He’s been in and out of hospital, but he’s still fighting fit. He’s such a strong person, it is just unbelievable. We are very proud of him.”

Heart transplant patients are normally given five years to live, but 60-year-old Raymond is defying the odds, despite a number of illnesses and setbacks.

Alison added: “He’s had just about everything; you name it he’s had it, but he’s managed to survive them all.”

Mr Mullins said excellent care from his wife Margaret as well as from the Wrexham Maelor and Wythenshawe hospitals is the secret to his longevity.

He said his six grandchildren also kept him going.

He added: “I’m not sure what my secret is, but it’s probably good nursing. Between my wife and the hospitals they seem to be working well.”

Mr Mullins is now urging members of the public to sign the donor register.