Norman’s story

My liver problems really started thirty years ago although they did not show until this past ten years. When I was about twenty five I developed ulcerative colitis and had some treatment for it which went very well, what we did not known at the time was I should have been on treatment for it all along and went on to develop PSC.

Having been at the blood donors a Nurse said my blood was low in something and to get it checked, which naturally, being a man, I did not do.  The next time a different nurse told me the same story and this time I did get my blood checked to discover I had a substantial tumour on my liver.  After a great deal of discussion it was decided to have a look and see what shape the liver was in. Went for an operation and when I came to after I was to discover that the Doctors, Diamond and Taylor had removed sixty percent of the liver and had got all  of the tumour removed and that there was no need for treatment as it was a primary tumour and they got it away with “margins”.

What was left of the liver was unable to sustain my body’s needs.

We had to carry on with life and no word of a transplant having had cancer they would be reluctant to put me on the list while in remission from cancer.

After a few years the threat of the cancer returning had lessened and I was put on the transplant list where I was to remain for the next couple of years.

During this waiting period we were to receive the best care possible in the RVH liver unit where the Doctors and nurses have became firm friends.

When the call did come to head for Kings in London our transplant co-ordinator Ami had us flown out of Enniskillen to Biggin Hill and then by ambulance to Kings Hospital .

The first Liver that I was to receive was not suitable but the next morning Ami came and announced that another liver had presented.  All hell broke loose and eleven and a half hours later I had a new liver fitted after which I spent eight days in Intensive care and cuckoo land and six days later I was back in 6D in the RVH in Belfast

What surprised me most was that at no time was I ever sore or in pain.

I would like to give thanks to my donor and to let their family know their loved one lives on.

To all the Doctors, Nurses and medical people we would like to thank them for their medical knowledge and help, to Myrtle and our family especially Dr Olive for being there this past seven years.

We did not do this all on our own, some ONE was watching out for us.