Man who needed liver transplant found donor on New Year’s Eve and began 2022 with new organ

‘It was amazing because his old liver was out in 2021 and then we started the year on a great note,’ says patient’s wife

Olivia Petter
Saturday 08 January 2022 12:29
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A man who urgently needed a new liver after spending 15 months on the transplant waiting list finally found a donor on New Year’s Eve, meaning he started 2022 with a new organ.

Chris Matthews, 31, has a rare genetic condition known as alpha A1 deficiency, which can cause lung and liver problems.

On 31 December, he and his wife, Bethany, who live in Swindon, were told by doctors that there might be a potential match for Matthews’ liver.

He was taken into surgery two hours later and after a 10-hour procedure, Mr Matthews woke up on 1 January 2022 with a new liver.

“It was perfect timing. It couldn’t have been better,” says Bethany, who shares a five-year-old daughter, Sophia-Rose with Mr Matthews.

“It was amazing because his old liver was out in 2021 and then we started the year on a great note. 2022 is going to be our year.

“It was just what we needed, and it really came at just the right time.”

Mr Matthews is still recovering in the ICU at the Royal Free Hospital in London, which is where the surgery took place.

“It’s been overwhelming,” adds Bethany of the transplant. “We didn’t really have time to process it after we got the initial call saying they had found a potential match for him.

“That call was at 1pm, and by 3.30pm they were taking him down for surgery.

“But it’s been a long road to get there, and neither of us can really put into words just how much this means to us.

“Chris has been given a second chance at a normal life with me and with our daughter.”

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