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Transplant survivor in plea for organ donors
10:00am Sunday 25th November 2012 in News
Wiltshire solicitor Andrew Eddy is urging people to register on the NHS Organ Donor Register after his life was saved by a transplant.
Mr Eddy, 46, said he was fortunate to find a match and as a result underwent a successful liver transplant.
He said: “I was very lucky. I had only been waiting for a transplant for 19 days when a match was found. Sadly people can wait years for a transplant and they die because there are not the organs available. Every day three people die because of this and approximately one of those people will be a child.
“Also, some people do not tell their loved ones that they are happy to have their organs donated in the event of their death. Even if they have a donor card their relatives can overrule it. If people are aware of the issues it’s easier to make a decision.”
Mr Eddy, a partner at Wansbroughs Solicitors in Melksham, had his transplant in May 2009. He had a genetic condition which surfaced in the 16 years prior to his transplant. The condition led to his liver slowly dying and at the end of 2008 he was told he needed a transplant urgently.
While he had his condition Mr Eddy, who lives in Calne, was able to work, although latterly he was increasingly tired and would often sleep in his car at lunchtimes.
He got the call that a transplant match had been found at 6.30am and had to be at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, at 11am.
After the transplant he spent 21 days in hospital and had nine weeks off work.
A keen runner, Mr Eddy’s life has been transformed by his transplant.
He said: “I am fitter now than when I was in my early twenties. I love running and now I run about five times a week, between five and ten miles at a time. I feel brilliant. I will be on anti-rejection medication all of my life but that’s a small price to pay.”
Mr Eddy is chairman of Transplant Sport UK, a charity that raises awareness of organ donation and organises sports and social events for transplant recipients.
It organises the British Transplant Games for adults and children who have had a transplant.
Mr Eddy competed in the last two games and last year won two silver medals in the 1,500metre and 5km events.
Mr Eddy, who is married with two children, was in the audience at the BBC Children in Need TV show at Television Centre last Friday night as Jack Booth, a 16-year-old transplant athlete from Essex, was one of six young people who cycled a rickshaw from Wales to London in aid of Children in Need.
Children in Need give a grant to Transplant Sport UK to put on the British Transplant Games for children.
For more information about the NHS Organ Donor Register, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk