Vinnie Jones backs organ donation law change as he says wife's heart transplant saved his life too

Yahoo Celebrity UK
Actor Vinnie Jones (L) and Tanya Jones attend the launch of the Seventh Annual BritWeek Festival "A Salute To Old Hollywood" on April 23, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BritWeek)
Actor Vinnie Jones (L) and Tanya Jones attend the launch of the Seventh Annual BritWeek Festival "A Salute To Old Hollywood" on April 23, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BritWeek)

Vinnie Jones has said it wasn't just his late wife Tanya's life that was saved by the "fantastic gift" of a heart transplant three decades ago, as his was too.

Tanya suffered from heart failure after giving birth at the age of 21 but was able to receive a new heart after the family of a 10-year-old boy who died in a car accident donated the organ.

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In an interview with BBC Inside Out, the actor shared: “Tans had a transplant after her heart collapsed giving birth and we lived with that for ever more. It was a fantastic gift that we were given.

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Former footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones and his wife Tanya, arriving for a charity dinner hosted by fashion designer Tomasz Starzewski in aid of cancer charities, at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, in London.
Former footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones and his wife Tanya, arriving for a charity dinner hosted by fashion designer Tomasz Starzewski in aid of cancer charities, at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, in London.

“If you kneel down in front of the pearly gates and say: 'Give us five more years with her, give us 10 years’ – you take that. We had 32.”

When asked if it had saved her life, the former footballer replied: "It saved my life, not just hers.”

Vinnie has expressed his support for a change in the law which will see organ donation in the UK transfer to an "opt out" system meaning the majority of people will be considered organ donors unless they decide not to.

Vinnie Jones backstage at the "X Factor Celebrity " Final at LH2 Studios on November 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Vinnie Jones backstage at the "X Factor Celebrity " Final at LH2 Studios on November 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

"I think it’s fantastic," he opined. "My feeling is that more people would want to donate than not donate so the turnaround is the better option. I know it’s going to save lives.”

Tanya sadly passed away at the age of 53 with her husband by her side in July 2019 after a long illness.

The couple had both been diagnosed with cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, in 2013.

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