Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 18:37 UK

Family challenge transplant rules

Gareth Anderson is critically ill after his liver failed
Gareth Anderson is critically ill after his liver failed

The family of a teenager critically ill with liver failure has said it is going to mount a legal challenge to get him on the waiting list for a transplant.

Gareth Anderson, 19, from Newtownards became ill after binge drinking with friends earlier this month.

Mr Anderson cannot be considered for organ transplant because rules stipulate patients need to be alcohol-free for six months beforehand.

His father, Brian, said he was facing a race against time to save his life.

"I'm dealing with a timebomb now, I've basically two weeks to save Gareth," he said.

Mr Anderson Snr said the six-month policy on liver transplants should apply to older patients with chronic alcoholism and not a teenager who has never before needed medical treatment for a drink-related illness.

"I have to take this to the courts, what else can I do?" he said.

"In my opinion Gareth doesn't fit in with the six-month policy."

His son was transferred from the Ulster Hospital to Kings College Hospital in London at the weekend.

World-renowned liver specialist, Professor Roger Williams, who treated Belfast-born footballer George Best, has also become involved in the debate, claiming the guidelines should be loosened in circumstances such as those faced by the teenager.

A spokesman for Kings College Hospital said the teenager was in a stable condition.

Print Sponsor

Sick youth being moved to London
21 Aug 09 |  Northern Ireland
Sick youth cannot jump donor list
20 Aug 09 |  Northern Ireland
Man refused liver transplant dies
20 Jul 09 |  London
Liver damage 'could be reversed'
27 Dec 07 |  Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific