A ten year old boy from Ferndown in Dorset, who received a life-saving liver transplant just 19 months ago, will be taking part in the British Transplant Games this month to celebrate his return to fitness and honour the family whose decision saved his life.
Albie Wareham was an active and sporty eight year old until he suffered acute liver failure in December 2021.
“Within days of me calling the GP because the whites of his eyes had turned yellow, Albie deteriorated rapidly”, says his mum, Verity, who has three other children. “Our GP referred us urgently to Poole Hospital and from there we were sent to the specialist liver unit at Kings College Hospital in London. It’s hard to describe the shock I felt on being told that my son who had been healthy, active and very sporty just weeks previously was in liver failure and would need a transplant urgently. I felt frightened, but knew they had to do whatever it took to make my boy better and I know how fortunate we were that a suitable organ became available so quickly. Only three weeks after becoming ill, Albie had received his new liver.”
Albie’s road to recovery was not always smooth and he’ll be on immunosuppressant medication for life, but he was determined to get back to normal and has proved to be a real fighter.
“Whilst at Kings, I found out about Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. They’ve provided me with practical information and support on how I could manage Albie’s return to school and his new normal,” says Verity. “They’re now supporting Albie by organising regular online sessions with other children his age who have a liver condition or have received a transplant. He can ask any questions he likes and he knows he’s not going through this alone.”
Albie is now back at school full time and has resumed football and swimming. His tenth birthday this year fell on the day of the King’s coronation so a special celebration was naturally in order! He’s now looking forward to the British Transplant Games in Coventry later this month when he’ll be competing in football, tennis and swimming. His mum, grandparents and brothers will be joining him on the Donor Run, which raises awareness of the benefits of organ transplantation whilst paying tribute to all those families who have made the decision to give the gift of life.
Rebecca Cooper, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “Albie and his family have been through a very tough 19 months – he certainly deserved to be King for a day on his birthday! We’re delighted to be supporting him as he navigates the world of school and sport post-transplant, and the fact that he is off to his first Transplant Games shows just how well he is doing. We wish him and his family a wonderful time.”
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.
For more information on the British Transplant Games go to British Transplant Games