You met Liver from the Orgamites earlier - meet Kathryn Murphy who had a liver transplant.
"My journey began in December 2015. Having been ill for several weeks with a severely swollen stomach, swollen feet, loss of appetite and generally feeling unwell I was eventually diagnosed with Auto Immune Hepatitis which had caused cirrhosis of my liver. I was in shock and devastated as thought of the consequences this would mean for myself, and at this time we did not know how severe the cirrhosis was. I was awaiting a biopsy which could not yet be done as I had too much fluid around my liver. I was discharged from hospital with multiple medications to try & improve my liver function and reduce the fluid to allow the biopsy to be done. I was attending hospital every few days to have blood tests to check my liver function which was gradually improving with the treatment I had been given. Slowly the fluid drained and I was still awaiting my biopsy date. I was still in shock and everyday asking "why me". I was beginning to feel a little better each day and this helped me become hopeful that things would be ok as things looked to be improving although I still had a long way to go.
On the 30th December 2015 things took a turn for the worse. I woke up in the middle of the night in a daze and I felt terrible, I went to the bathroom and began to vomit blood. I was confused and felt like I was in a dream. I then told my partner what had happened and he phoned the ward which had treated me for advise. The hospital advised him to dial 999 immediately. The ambulance arrived almost instantly and by now I was in and out of consciousness I then vomited more blood and was put in the ambulance and blue lighted to the hospital. From here everything is a little blurred to me, I cannot remember arriving at hospital or the next set of events that's occurred.
Due to the cirrhosis, I had developed varises which had burst and was causing me to vomit blood. I was in and out of consciousness.All my family had been contacted to come to the hospital as I was in a critical condition as I had lost so much blood. I had two another two extremely big bleeds. I was given multiple blood transfusions, the doctors also tried to band the varises but they were unable to get them all as there was too much blood for them to see them. At this point my family were advised I was in an extremely critical condition and I may not make it through if I had another bleed as my body could not take it. I was only given a few hours to live. My local hospital had now been in touch with the specialist team in the city's main hospital and under the instruction of them the doctors had been advised to put me into an induced coma and insert a balloon devise into my chest to try to stop the bleeding. I was now the most critical patient in the hospital. I was in a coma waiting to be stable enough to be transferred to the main hospital. Eventually I became stable enough to be transferred much to my families relief.
3 days I lay in the coma getting washed with fluids, blood transfusions and a million other things in between and monitored 24/7. They started to reduce my sedation but I still did not wake up. It took about another 3 days to get me to come round. The doctors thought I may have been brain dead at one point due to the blood loss. Fortunately this was not the case.
I woke up in ICU with a breathing tube down my throat and my family around me. Once I was stable enough the breathing tube was removed and I could eventually ask what had happened as I had no recollection. I missed a full week of my life and woke up in a new year which was very strange. The doctors then explained I had END stage cirrhosis and would probably need a liver transplant. Being told this when not in a good frame of mind is so confusing, I don't think I truly understood the severity of what was happening to me at the time. Before long I was transferred to the transplant ward to recover from the coma. I was still extremely swollen with fluid in my stomach and my legs and feet, I also had a huge scar on my face from the breathing tube. I had to stay in hospital while I recovered and underwent the tests to see if I qualified to be placed on the list. In this time I had another bleed which the team got under control quickly.
I was officially placed on the top band liver transplant list on the 9/1/16. In the next couple of weeks I was back home recovering and trying to build my strength back up, however I ended up back in hospital with an underlying infection. By this time I was emotionally and physically exhausted and was ready to give up as I was in extreme pain and had no fight left in me. My family and friends soon got that out of my head, so I got my chin up and gloves on and fought through it.
Once again I was home and trying to recover. I was feeling depressed and nothing like my old self, I was swollen, my skin was now jaundice and eyes yellowing. I started to shut myself off from everyone and would cry almost everyday. I had lost the happy, cheerful, social person I used to be.
A couple of months or so ago at 7am my life changed forever. 5 weeks and 1 day after being placed I received a phone call to tell me I had a liver match. I could not believe it, I was full of mixed emotions and luck seemed to be changing. My operation went ahead at 7pm the same day and lasted 8 and a half hours. It was a success and the liver was a perfect match according to my surgeon. Within hours of coming around I was up talking and already feeling better. I remember being overjoyed I could see my knees as the swelling had already gone down. I was discharged from hospital a week after my operation and my recovery is still going really well. It's scary what can happen in the space of 6 months.
It's hard to put into words how grateful I am to my donor and their family. I think about my donor each day and thank them for giving me a second chance in life I honestly did not think I was going to get. I am now a few months post op and doing great. I have full liver function and feel like the best I have in months. I have been given the best gift I could ever have hoped for and will for as long as I live cherish my gift and life life everyday in honour of my amazing donor... My Hero.❤️"
The biggest difference you can make in life is the difference you make in someone elses...give the Gift of Life and make their life beautiful.
Today, Rachel, our fundraising Trustee, marks 4 years since she received her Gift of Life. Rachel says: "There are no words to describe my gratitude and how blessed I was to be given the gift of life 4 years ago, I am super lucky, each and every day I think of my donor and what an amazing thing her family did by saying yes to organ donation so that I and the other peoples lives she saved can live on today. I continue to go from strength to strength in which I am eternally grateful for #letloveliveon
Organ donation really does transform lives. "