Hand on heart this is one powerful image – a transplant patient holding up her failed organ after surgeons replaced it during a successful op.
The delighted woman, identified only as Penny, survived cancer and organ failure before posing for the picture posted on photo sharing website imgur.
Her friend Kelsey, who uploaded the image wrote: “This is my friend Penny. She is holding her own heart.
“She has survived cancer and crippling heart failure but never lost hope. She’s my hero.”
Penny now has a fully-functioning heart following the complex operation, according to her friend Kelsey.
"It is not clear where the patient is from or when and where the surgery took place.
Penny was allowed to pose for the photo with her old heart before it was cremated.
She had asked to take her heart home but doctors refused, according to her pal.
Kelsey said: “She wanted to keep it but they wouldn’t let her! It had to be cremated but she kept the ashes.”
Up to 3,500 heart transplants are performed across the world every year.
Around 207 people in the UK are on the transplant list waiting for a new heart.
Last year 139 patients had heart transplants in the UK and 26 people died waiting for a new one.
Underneath the picture of Penny, user lukecampbell wrote: “This is the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my life.
"She has touched my heart as well.”