Sheffield mum saved by a liver transplant backs drive

Angela Eddy, whose life was saved by a liver transplant'She is backing the Star's Gift of Life campaign
Angela Eddy, whose life was saved by a liver transplant'She is backing the Star's Gift of Life campaign

A mum whose life was saved by a liver transplant has spoken of how she will be ‘forever grateful’ for her second chance.

Angela Eddy, a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, was so ill before the operation that her organs started to fail.

The 51-year-old had been on the NHS Organ Donor Register for six months after she was diagnosed with chronic liver condition primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in 2011.

In her case the condition – which can cause progressive destruction of the ducts in the liver, causing bile acids to leak and damage liver cells – accelerated.

Angela, who had the surgery in December, has backed The Star’s Gift of Life campaign to recruit 12,000 more local organ donors before the British Transplant Games come to Sheffield in August.

She said: “I would have died without the transplant because it was getting worse and worse and eventually the whole of your liver shuts down.

“I went into organ failure towards the end.

“Having this definitely changes your outlook on life.

“It just makes you realise how much you take for granted, even the little things.

Angela added: “Towards the end I couldn’t even get out of bed. I missed little family things like parties because I was too tired to go to them and it’s like life is passing you by.

“It is a massive operation but even so when I got the new liver after a few days I felt so much better.”

Angela had the operation at St James’ Hospital in Leeds. She has since written to the donor’s family to thank them.

Angela said: “It will have been such a difficult time for them to make that brave decision. I will be forever grateful for that.

“It just shows you the strength of their courage, that they are willing to carry out their relative’s wishes.”

Angela’s story has inspired fellow radiotherapy and oncology lecturer Rob Appleyard to take on a massive charity challenge from tomorrow.

He will complete the national Three Peaks Challenge with a twist as he cycles 500 miles between the peaks over four days.

Rob has raised £2,450 for The PBC Foundation.

* Visit Rob’s 3 Peak Cycle Challenge 2013

Sign up to the gift of life

More than 6,000 people in the region have already signed up to be an organ donor thanks to The Star’s Gift of Life campaign.

The drive aims to recruit 12,000 extra organ donors in total before The Westfield Health British Transplant Games take place in Sheffield this August.

Hundreds of inspirational athletes will compete in various events at the games.

People are also being urged to share their wishes with their loved ones to increase the number of transplants that can go ahead.

To sign up as an organ donor call 0300 123 23 23, visit Organ Donation or text SAVE to 62323.

People can also sign up when joining a new GP surgery and applying for a new driving licence.