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Paul's long and winding road

To my donor families, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have been through liver transplantation twice and am alive today because of the generous gifts of livers from people who have passed away and their families.

At the age of 21, and otherwise in good health, I felt liver pains. My form of hepatitis was treated with medication for 16 years until liver transplantation was the only option.
The hospital stay was long, complicated, uncertain and stressful, but there was so much help at hand to help me through it— - far more than

I would have imagined. (It is common for recipients to be completely overwhelmed by the kindness of the hospital staff.) The medical team were brilliant.

The liver kept me healthy until recently, when I required another and was placed on the national transplant waiting list. This time I was sicker going into transplant but the process was a lot smoother.

My wife (Anne) and I have a daughter, Emma, who is now 18. Anne and Emma have been tremendous support. I am extremely thankful for the donation which has enabled me to help in raising Emma from the age of eight to her starting university this year. I have also been able to support my mother following my father's death.

We are so grateful to the families who agreed to donate. To my donor families, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is a great display of humanity to allow the organs to save other lives when your loved one has passed away so tragically.

One of my important days is the annual Tree Planting Ceremony at Lake Monger, which is very emotional, but is a time for reflection on the loss of others, their generosity and the wonder of the whole process. I also think of those who were less fortunate than me and for whom there was not an available organ at the time.

I would also like to thank the community as a whole for supporting organ donation and saving our lives, both as a policy and through taxpayer funding.

I am very optimistic about the future.


Nicky Burton