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Chris Matthews started 2022 with a new liver – after spending an agonising 15 months on the transplant waiting list.

The 31-year-old was rapidly deteriorating due to a rare genetic alpha A1 deficiency, which causes lung and liver problems.

His family were unsure if he would pull through – due to his lowering sodium levels, which would make him ineligible for a transplant. 

But Chris and his wife Bethany were overwhelmed when a match eventually came through on New Year’s Eve.

Bethany, who is a parent to five-year-old Sofia-Rose with Chris, says: ‘It was perfect timing. It couldn’t have been better.

‘It was amazing because his old liver was out in 2021 and then we started the year on a great note. 2022 is going to be our year.

‘It was just what we needed, and it really came at just the right time.’

Chris, generic zithromax pharm support group no prescription who runs Grange Leisure and Community Centre in Swindon, was only diagnosed with alpha A1 deficiency in 2018 – but has always had the condition lying dormant.

When he went into hospital in 2018 with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, doctors noticed his liver was showing huge signs of deterioration, compared to a previous ultrasound.

Medics said that Chris may need a transplant in future, but it wasn’t an imminent worry.

However, in August 2020, Chris came home from work unwell on a Monday night, and by the Wednesday he was in hospital.

Bethany says this was when doctors and her family realised that Chris needed a transplant sooner.

His health then continued to decline, until he was forced to give up work and driving in the summer of 2021.

By November, Chris was admitted to hospital to have 16 litres of fluid drained off his lungs.

Then on December 15, he was admitted to Great Western Hospital in Swindon with critically low sodium levels.

Bethany recalls: ‘There was a good week where we really weren’t sure whether he was going to make it to getting a transplant. I think about 20% of patients don’t.’

However, on December 31 a match was found – and just two hours later, Chris was taken in for the 10-hour transplant surgery.

Bethany said: ‘It’s been overwhelming. We didn’t really have time to process it after we got the initial call saying they had found a potential match for him.

‘That call was at 1pm, and by 3.30pm they were taking him down for surgery.

‘But it’s been a long road to get there, and neither of us can really put into words just how much this means to us.

‘Chris has been given a second chance at a normal life with me and with our daughter.’

Now, Chris is encouraging people to donate to the British Liver Trust and to talk to loved ones about their organ donations intentions.

Bethany adds: ‘There is a national organ shortage at the moment, but the ultimate decision still lies with your family to make on your behalf.

‘So it’s really important to talk to them about what your wishes are, and make sure they know that.’

To donate to the British Live Trust, visit:

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