Laura Milby’s Story

I'm a 29 year old mum to 4 year old girl and happily married. My story started in Oct 2013 when I fell pregnant. I had terrible morning sickness and itchy skin which prompted me to go to my GP.

My GP took my bloods and gave me a cream to soothe the itching, within days I had a phone call from the surgery to tell me my LFTs are abnormal and I needed more bloods taken. This went on for a few weeks till my GP decided things weren't improving and I need to be admitted to hospital for further tests. When I had the liver scan at first it showed that my liver was healthy, so the doctors decided to go down the genetic route to see if my illness ran through my family. In the meantime I had to go for weekly blood tests to check the levels of the LFTs which eventually increased higher to the point I started being sick all day and night and sleeping a lot. A few days after Christmas Day 2013 my husband took me to the out of hours GP where they found I had bilirubin in my urine so was immediately admitted to the maternity ward as I was only 16 weeks pregnant. I got kept in overnight as my bloods improved overnight which was a relief for me as my daughter’s birthday was the following day. On my daughter’s birthday I had to go and get a repeat on my bloods to make sure things where improving to be told that afternoon I needed to be admitted to hospital immediately as I was in early stages of liver failure.

In January 2014 I slept most of the month but what I can remember is being told I may need a liver transplant, to be told that while pregnant is frightening as it’s not just your life, it’s your baby’s life too. The doctors said the chances of my baby surviving were slim and they were more interested in saving my life. While in the transplant unit I got worse; I would sleep all day, I was confused to the point I didn’t know where I was, my date of birth, I denied I already had a child or was married. At this point the doctors put me on a super transplant list as my liver had stopped working, luckily for me they had a new liver within two hours and I underwent the transplant the following morning. After spending time in intensive care I was eventually moved to high dependency but I was very aggressive towards the staff, and still confused but I was told all this is normal because of the painkilling drugs and brain toxins. After a week I started making sense and was told my baby was alive and fighting which is amazing as the odds of the baby dying were extremely high.

I’m currently 25 weeks pregnant and home from hospital recovering which I find very difficult physically and emotionally as I can’t understand why my liver failed, I’m not a drinker, don't smoke or take drugs. Doctors couldn’t identify the problem either so they said it was a non (a-e) hepatitis virus and my baby actually saved my life.

I hope my story can help others even though it is rare to have a liver transplant while being pregnant, but I’m grateful to be alive with my baby still thriving.

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