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Gary's Liver Transplant Story

Gary had a liver transplant for PSC 26 years ago, is living life to the full and his liver is still going strong!


After my transplant I was told that my old liver would not have lasted another 6 months. I am now 26 years on.

Organ Donation Week 2022 Gary 2

Early signs

My story goes back a long way now to when I was 19 years old and first had abnormal liver function tests. I had just started university but experienced uncomfortable pins and needles in my fingers and toes.

Various tests identified liver abnormalities. Over the next few years my condition deteriorated and combined with newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis I became very unwell.

Hospital Admissions

Over the next four or five years I required multiple hospital admissions with my main symptoms being pain after eating, jaundice and itching. I went down to 8 stone in weight (despite being 6ft3in) and would regularly wake with cuts where I’d scratched in my sleep.

I had regular procedures to add stents (to clear the tubes to and from the liver) but it was agreed I needed a liver transplant.

I continued working but needed regular time off when unwell.

Liver Transplant

After assessment for and agreeing that a liver transplant was needed, I was extremely lucky. And that is an understatement. I was added to the transplant list at 9am on a Wednesday morning and 36 hours later I got the call to say one had been  identified!

I was 25 at the time so had been ill for around 5 years. I again was lucky as I did not face the challenges faced by many of  ‘false calls’ inviting them for the transplant operation. I didn’t really have long to process this but had confidence the team could make me better.

June 1996

The team at St James Hospital in Leeds were fabulous. At 9am I had my transplant and was given a second chance.

Life After Transplant

Organ Donation Week 2022 Gary 1

All went well and I was home within 2 weeks and back at work in 3 months. I felt stronger than I had in years.

The team at Leeds monitor very closely and over the last 26 years I have at times got to the stage of annual checkups!

After my transplant I was told that my old liver would not have lasted another 6 months. I am now 26 years on.

In those 26 years I have been able to do so much. I am blessed with three amazing children, I am enjoying a successful career and have had many fantastic experiences. As a family we have been able to holiday most years and had many visits to Florida. We have marked special anniversaries with trips and earlier this year visited Las Vegas for a delayed 50th birthday / silver wedding.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the organ donor family, the expertise of clinical teams and ongoing support from family. I really am and have been very fortunate.

Gary, September 2022


Thank you to Gary for sharing his transplant story with us for Organ Donation Week 2022.


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