David – liver recipient, VIC
“You can’t put into words what it means to get a second chance at life.”
At the age of 28, after a routine check-up at his GP experiencing bad stomach pains, David was diagnosed with Liver Cirrhosis, a condition that impairs liver function and causes irreversible liver damage.
David spent the next 10 years battling the illness, and despite countless tests and procedures, his doctors were unable to fully diagnose the cause. Eventually it was determined that he had Cryptogenic Cirrhosis, meaning the cause was unknown and could not be treated.
He suffered from portal hypertension and had regular procedures for oesophageal varices, however remained relatively stable for about eight years, after which his health started to deteriorate.
In 2021, he was hospitalised on multiple occasions in Melbourne and Geelong, for sepsis and stomach infections caused by the cirrhosis. It was here he was told he would certainly need an urgent liver transplant.
David was placed on the waiting list and within 30 hours a liver became available.
“Relief is the first thing that came to mind, that after 10 years of not knowing, battling and really struggling with it, finally some closure and relief that potentially I could be on the way to recovery,” David said.
“The second emotion was disbelief, because of the short time frame. I’d been expecting to wait three to six months and I was mentally preparing for that.
“You can’t put into words what it means to get a second chance at life. Every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror, I’m stoked to be alive and to be here with my family.
“I think about my donor and donor family daily. I try not to take any day for granted and live life to the absolute fullest.”