My name is Chris and in November 2016 I received the liver transplant that would change my life in so many more ways than I could have imagined.
I was 16 when I was diagnosed with Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis (PSC) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). The PSC is a disease which affects the liver’s bile ducts, causing them to become scarred and narrowed, resulting in blockages, infections, and eventual liver failure. The UC is a form of inflammatory bowel disease often found tag teaming PSC and until my transplant was well managed.
Once the UC was under control, life went on as normal for quite a while. I finished school, went to university, took a break to travel, went back to university, and even managed to get full-time work in my area of study before things started to take a dive.
Through the dedication and unimaginably difficult decisions of some incredible people, I was lucky enough to receive a donor organ just 2 years after my first hospital admission for PSC related symptoms. I hate to imagine where I might be if I wasn’t given this gift, and will be forever grateful those who’ve helped me get to where I am.
With this in mind, I want to be honest about how these illnesses, my transplant, and those people involved have and will continue to change my life. Hearing the stories of others has helped me immeasurably in understanding my own body, and seeing that I’m not alone in this restores a level of confidence and comfort I would otherwise be lacking. My hope is that sharing my experiences will help others reframe their perspective on chronic disease and highlight some of the less discussed challenges and achievements that come with an organ transplant.
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