The transplant saved my life in more ways than one.
Two days away from death's door. That's how close Brenda Roberts, 66 from Ruthin in Denbighshire came to dying from liver disease, a condition called primary biliary cirrhosis. Fortunately for Brenda, a suitable organ was found just in time and she underwent her life-saving liver transplant operation in 2012.
It all came as a real surprise," said Brenda. "I'd been feeling very well. I was fit, working full time and playing golf when my routine blood test results came back showing that there was a problem. Following further tests it showed that my liver was now deteriorating rapidly and only a transplant could save me. I'd just celebrated my 60th birthday and, as soon as I hit that milestone, I went downhill fast. I was hospitalized in St James’ Teaching Hospital in Leeds and was told I wouldn't be leaving without a transplant.
"The transplant saved my life in more ways than one. They told me that I had a cyst on my pancreas that would be removed during surgery. It transpired that the cyst had pre-cancerous cells and was blocking a bile duct. This problem would have been masked by the liver disease and could have had its own dire consequences and complications.
"One of the best ways I can thank my liver donor is by keeping myself as healthy as possible – I'm a keen golfer and play at Ruthin - Pwllglas Golf Club. I have played golf at the British Transplant Games and also been selected to play at two World Transplant Games in Argentina and Malaga. This next year will see my third World Games in Newcastle Gateshead in August. It is an honour to play for Team GB.
I think the Welsh Government's new legislation on organ donation is absolutely brilliant. More organs are needed to help save more lives. Too many families refuse organ donation when they lose a loved one, sometimes even when they know they carried an organ donor card so thats why its important to have a chat with your loved ones to let them know your desicion so they can honour it.