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My transplant journey

Photo of Linda
I live because of the generosity of my donor and family and am grateful every day.

Several years ago I became ill and spent almost a year in and out of hospital. I was diagnosed as suffering from an auto immune liver disease, which was causing lots of problems - encephalopathy, pleuraleffusions, odema in legs and feet and a very great feeling of being unwell.

In mid September of that year I was admitted to Flinders Medical Centre for transplant assessment and after a few hiccups along the way with more encephalopathy incidents, and troublesome dental work requirements (my blood would not clot) and many more stays in hospital I was placed on the list for a transplant.

I went home from hospital (at my insistence) for Christmas as I had the feeling that could well have been my last Christmas and I wanted so desperately to spend it with my family, but I was very unwell and although I was at home on the morning of Boxing Day, I knew I had no choice. I needed to get back into hospital to have the pleural cavity drained again. All went well for a few days and then the drain became blocked - then I was given the news that they had a liver for me.

I went to Theatre at about 4 am feeling an immense sense of calm and peace.

Surgery went well and I made good progress until I contracted Stevens Johnson Syndrome due to an allergy to antibiotics. I was desperately ill for three long weeks and required five lots of surgery to have dressings changed, but my new liver was working well and saw me through all of that.

I finally came home in early April and have made wonderful progress - I live because of the generosity of my donor and family and am grateful every day.

Nicky Burton