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

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.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in