James' Liverversary: One Year Post Transplant and Counting
Receiving a liver transplant is an incredible feat, but what comes next? As James marked his one-year Liverversary he has kindly shared an update on his journey with PSC and how he is thriving after this life-changing operation.
As I sat in the hospital, unaware that my first call for transplant was about to be scuppered by a positive covid test, I scrawled a very quick blog post. It was a list of all the things I could think of that I wanted to do after my transplant. As I hit one year post transplant, I’ve managed to do 15 of the 16 items on the list...
A List of Hope: Looking Forward to Life after Transplant
While I sit here celebrating my one year Liverversary, I am thrilled to have completed 15 out of the 16 items on my list despite the challenges along the way.
“I want to be less yellow” – completed in a week. It’s amazing how quickly the jaundice fades after the operation.
“I want to go to a gig.” – completed recently when my eldest daughter and I went to a local music festival.
“I want to do the school run.” – even walking the kids to school in September felt significant when I missed the end of the last school year and could barely walk round the ward let alone do a school run.
A Journey of Recovery: Physical and Emotional Healing after Transplant
I have been incredibly fortunate in my recovery. I’ve had no hospital admissions since my transplant and everything suggests that my new liver is working well. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to look to the future and to make plans.
My physical recovery felt like slow going but within 6 months I was back doing everything I had before (and without the fatigue slowing me down). Emotionally recovery has felt like a longer journey but, as a family, we are getting there and helping each other through.
The Transplant Games: Fulfilling a Dream and Finding Community
The last item on my post-transplant list was to be part of the Transplant Games and later this month I should be ticking that one off too. I can’t wait to compete and to meet more people who have navigated this same transplant journey. My family and I were battered with everything over the last few years but we’ve made it through and can look forward with hope.
I weep with families I know who haven’t had the same outcome I have - but I will also celebrate my liverversary and all the other people’s lives saved by transplantation. And I pray for the day when the cure for PSC becomes a reality.
As part of transplant assessments you have to run up two flights of stairs as quick as you can. I made a little video to show you my personal best one year after my transplant.