Sometimes liver disease occurs for no apparent reason and is only identified when you visit your GP for something completely different.
Bill Purdue was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003 and a year later he was also told he had fatty deposits on his liver. Advised that his condition was cryptogenic (no known cause) it was not until he went to his GP one year later with swollen feet and legs that the seriousness of his condition came to light. Tests revealed Bill had oedema (causing the swelling), portal hypertension (an increase in the blood pressure in the portal vein) and ascites (swelling of the abdomen) all indicating chronic liver disease. So serious was his condition that he was rushed to Nottingham’s Queens’ Medical Centre, where he had to wait for a donor liver and it was almost three months before a suitable ‘O’ blood group became available at St James’s in Leeds.
In May 2005 Bill had a successful transplant but remains under the care of his consultant at Nottingham, with regular blood tests and he will have to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. Now 61 he has retired from his full time job as a librarian and is enjoying life to the full, writing for his local paper, as well as a weekly blog on books, publishing local circular walks and looking forward to visiting America this summer.
“ I was introduced to someone who had already received a liver transplant while I was waiting,“ he remembers “and it gave me the inspiration, confidence and the very necessary hope to go through the transplant when it was offered. It has allowed me the opportunity to make a difference to other people’s lives, something I hope to do in the years ahead I now have .”