Phil Newham’s story

I am raising money for "The British Liver Trust" by cycling from Liverpool to Leeds in June 2015 as I would like to support their hard work in helping other people with Liver Diseases and other associated problems.

I suffer from a life changing liver disease called Autoimmune Hepatitis. I was diagnosed last April (2014) after a biopsy of the liver following an outbreak of jaundice. I spent 4 months in hospital last year trying to bring my liver readings down and under control. Just to give you an idea a normal liver functions at 2-53, mine when I was admitted to hospital was 1,480.

Whilst I spent my time under the care of the NHS and support from the Liver unit at Leeds, I had trialled a number of different drugs and steroids. Some of the medication I did not take very well to me and had horrible side effects to the stage that one drug paralysed me. To this day I suffer with lots of different symptoms and side effects including Diabetes. Currently my liver is sitting around the 300 mark, slowly making its way down. On the outside I look fine but this is not always the case. 

During my time in hospital it was brought to light that Autoimmune Hepatitis is not a common illness (1 in 100,000 in Europe (7 out of 10 being female)). The doctors found this hard to understand. Luckily after one month the hospital realised they had a Dr that had a bit of knowledge on my illness and helped me along even though this was trial and error for both of us. To this current day I have to have weekly bloods and take over 15 tablets a day but I can’t thank him enough - if it wasn't for him and his team I wouldn't be here today.

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