Eliza Bell (she/her)
Disability & Transplant
Place of Birth: Torbay, Devon, England
Current location: Cornwall, England
Age: 23 years old
Language/s: English only
Diagnoses: Heart Transplant (2019), previous Cardiomyopathy & Heart Failure, Danon's Disease, Bronchiectasis, Arrhythmia
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Secondary, Mental Health, Tertiary and Quaternary care
Eliza is someone who is changing the world of organ transplantation through her lived experience, to build community while improving patient experience and long-term psychosocial outcomes. Based in Cornwall, England, Eliza is the founder, creator and host of the successful podcast 'Transplant Chats with Eliza' that has gathered over 7,000 listens worldwide and is built on the values of Community, Empowerment and Education. In the first podcast season Eliza interviewed fellow transplant recipients, before the second season saw her partner with the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, one of the leading transplant hospitals in the world, with the third season focusing on the donor families and importance of organ donation. The podcast was inspired by Eliza's lived experience of transplantation, and wanting to create a community and resource for other people receiving or donating organs. In 2010, Eliza contracted Swine Flu, causing pneumonia, subsequent respiratory arrest and was put into an induced coma. While she was in the coma, the doctors discovered she had a rare genetic heart condition called Danon's Disease that caused cardiomyopathy. Within 2 years Eliza had her first pacemaker at only 14 years old, and by 19 years old was in end stage Heart Failure, experiencing extreme symptoms and decreased quality of life, and was told she would die without a transplant. After a significant amount of time in hospital, a second pacemaker, being added to the transplant list before being moved to the urgent transplant list, she received a new heart. Eliza became one of only 108 people (from 2015-2020) to have a pioneering DCD (Donation after Circulatory Death) Heart transplant at a leading transplant hospital in Cambridge in 2019. Post transplant, Eliza identifies as having a disability as she has an invisible illness that does impact her daily activities, and actively writes, speaks and posts about this on social media. Her content and podcast have allowed her to connect with people at different stages of their transplant journey as a life coach, and inspired further studies in counselling. Eliza's experience of transplant made her aware of the ways to improve resources, support, community, patient experiences and outcomes for transplant recipients and families, and that has become her driving force. From meeting the Queen to speaking at multiple conferences and professional education days across the UK to being invited to parliament house to meet leading transplant researchers and surgeon's, Eliza is a key figure in connecting the transplant community with the people that can benefit from hearing lived experience. Eliza is passionate about creating greater opportunities for long term psychosocial peer-to-peer growth and support in the transplant community, and plans to design workshops and programs to be supported by and delivered across a range of organisations and health services worldwide.
Raised £18,000 for Eliza's transplant hospital’s charity. With the money going towards other people’s life saving DCD heart transplants.
Invitations to speak at multiple. transplantation conferences/ and health professionals education days about her transplant experience and importance of organ donation. Locations: London (European Organ donation Conference), Cambridge, Norwich, Northern Ireland.
Being invited to meet the Queen at the opening of my transplant hospital’s new building.
Being invited to the houses of parliament evening drinks to talk with leading transplant researchers and doctors about the DCD heart.
Eliza's speaking slot at the national coroner's conference on collaboration with NHS Blood Transplant, leads to positive changes in organ donation policy.
Creating an international transplant support podcast: 'Transplant Chats With Eliza’. To date there have been 7000+ listens and we have 751 Loyal listeners who keep returning to the podcast. From the podcast she has learnt how to edit, interview and create engaging branding.
She is training to be a mindset coach. Now accredited in Timeline therapy, NLP and Hypnosis. She uses this training to support pre- and post- transplant recipients on their own journeys.
Creating a supportive transplant community via her Instagram.
Recovering from a heart transplant and living a life where she will not hold herself back. Since transplant she has had the mindset to try anything that comes her way at least once. So far she has climbed up a mountain, ridden horses, started running, driven in the car further than she ever has before, tried a surfing lesson, has been kayaking and also braced the cold British sea for
regular sea swims.
Currently she is working towards becoming a counsellor. She is learning how to listen and make an individual feel validated and understood. Another great skill for her interviews on the podcast, my coaching and for life in general.
Making several appearances on the local news broadcasts.
Interviews in several UK publications including The Daily Mail, The Times, The Telegraph and more
Collaboration with The British Heart Foundation, contributing her heart failure/transplant story to their guides (For hospitals to give to patients).
Working with NHS Blood and Transplant to create a season of the Transplant Chats Podcast to commemorate organ donors and their families for organ donation week 2021.