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John's story

Our thanks will never be enough.

My husband was very ill though I had no idea how ill! As we saw doctors and specialists the seriousness became more obvious. He had cirrhosis of the liver and needed a new organ. I believe that his 'bloody mindedness' helped him to get through this difficult time. Apart from the ascites, loss of weight, peritonitis, tiredness and multiple visits to doctors and hospital, in hindsight, we now realise just how fortunate he was to get a transplant after only five months of being on the waiting list.

We got the 'magic call' at 10.30pm for the surgery to take place first thing in the morning. Although the operation itself was a great success there were some complications with several infections but this was a small price to pay for the chance of a new life.

Just six weeks after the transplant he was back in for major bowel surgery to correct the peritonitis that occurred as one of the complications. Two major operations in six weeks, but thank goodness he was strong enough to get through both of them.

We have sent 'thank you' cards to the donor family every year (these are sent via the Liver Transplant Unit) but my husband and I thank them every day for their very difficult and wonderful decision to make their family member a donor. Their 'tragedy' became our 'miracle'.

My husband will celebrate seven wonderful years of extra life thanks to them! The only way he feels he can acknowledge this wonderful donation is by keeping as fit and healthy as he can; cycling several kilometres a day, eating as healthily as possible and living life to the full. He really does deserve to be well and he works hard to keep fit. I am so lucky to still have him here with me and my heart breaks for the donor family whose situation is so, so different. Our thanks will never be enough.


Nicky Burton