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Ivan's story

I was informed that a liver transplant was my only chance of survival

I emigrated from Croatia to Australia in 1959, first arriving in Melbourne and then moving to Adelaide before finally settling on the new capital being carved out of the limestone plains in Canberra. At that time Canberra had a large Croatian community and I felt at home in this new growing city. I married a local girl and started a plumbing business and a family.

After feeling tired and unwell for some time, I was finally diagnosed with Hepatitis B. Back then there was not that much in the way of treatment for the condition. I again started to feel unwell and was told by my GP that my liver was failing.

When you are having liver problems, you have no energy for any kind of work and you have to be extremely careful with your diet. No alcohol, no roasted food, no pre-packaged food and no condiments. I survived on boiled spinach, potato with a little oil and pasta with honey. Meals were small portions consumed frequently.

I later became very sick and returned to hospital with severe abdominal pain and lots of hot and cold flushes (which I wouldn't wish on anyone). I was informed that a liver transplant was my only chance of survival. I had a liver transplant at Royal Prince Alfred and the staff (my Guardian Angels) were working overtime for me.

I am extremely grateful to my family, all the hospital staff and to my organ donor (and family) for their generosity. I offer daily thanks to all involved in my recovery and my gift of life.

I would like to offer my appreciation, thanks and gratitude to our dear Lord and all the Guardian Angels who helped during those difficult times.



Nicky Burton