I had a healthy childhood, married my wonderful wife and had three beautiful girls. Then, at age 41, my life changed. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, caused by a genetic disease, Alpha 1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency Syndrome.
I spent the next four years in and out of hospital and everyday things became hard. Feeling sick, discomfort, fluid build up, breathing difficulties and low energy levels made the simplest jobs difficult. Sleep became a thing of the past. I was pacing the house or hospital floors, watching TV and dealing with constant cramps due to fluid inbalance.
My family was under pressure, visiting me in hospital and wondering how long this could go on. Trips from the country to the transplant team fitted in between hospital admissions.
I was put on the transplant waiting list, and during a draining visit in hospital, I received 'THE CALL'. I was flown by air ambulance to hospital and, due to the wonderful gift of one individual, I received my new liver.
I spent one week in intensive care, due to kidney failure. My kidneys recovered and I spent two more weeks on the ward before flying home.
Eight months on, I visit the transplant team every three months. I don't know how long I was sick before I was diagnosed, but if I was any better now I would be a super hero.
I am very passionate about organ donation and help any chance I can get with the cause in our area. The transplant team is fantastic and deserve credit, as well as my specialists and GP.
Finally to MY donor family and to all the other donor families, thank you for changing our lives. Your loved ones will never be forgotten They live on in all of us.