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Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
'Liver transplant transformed my life'
Carol Maskell's operation was carried out last year
Carol Maskell says her life has been transformed by a successful liver transplant.

The 57-year-old mother of two who lives near Cambridge underwent surgery last year.

In 1994, Carol contracted a virus which ended up attacking her liver. She was diagnosed with cirrhosis and told she would eventually need a transplant.


The transplant has changed my life completely. I feel 20 years younger

"I was not feeling well at all," she told BBC News Online. "I felt dreadful. I was very tired and was suffering from total exhaustion.

"It was like having a hangover every morning and since I didn't drink I thought it was unfair. I was in a lot of pain and was on heavy medication."

Tremendous fear

In October 2000, she was put on a waiting list to undergo the life-saving procedure.

"It is a horrible time," says Carol. "It is very difficult. There is a tremendous fear, a fear of the operation, a fear of the outcome."

Eight and a half months later Carol received the call from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge telling her a suitable donor liver had been found.

"I was very excited and was really looking forward to it," she says.

"The operation took six and a half hours. I woke up in a high dependency unit with my husband and daughters with big smiles. I was so happy and relaxed and relieved."

Carole left the hospital 12 days later. The impact of the transplant operation has been immense.

"The transplant has changed my life completely. I feel 20 years younger. I think I've been making up for the last eight years. I've been skiing and sailing recently. Every single day is special."

From time to time, Carol casts her mind to the 50-year-old married man whose liver she received.


I just wish everyone would carry a donor card so that people like me can be given a chance to live

"You do think about the donor. My family were around the bed rejoicing after my transplant but at the same time we felt tremendous sadness for the family. We are so thankful to him.

"I just wish everyone would carry a donor card so that people like me can be given a chance to live."

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30 Jul 02 | Health
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