Sophie is more than an aunty to her adored six-year-old nephew, Oscar. They are liver buddies. Here is her story.
I remember the devastation we felt as a family when we learned that my brother’s beautiful newborn baby had the rare liver disease, biliary atresia. The news that his only hope was a liver transplant was even worse. But when we realised that he could be saved by a family member donating a part of their own liver, that offered us a real glimmer of hope. And I knew straight away that it should be me.
Even though I was living in Australia at the time, I was the obvious choice. I was only 25, I was slim, fit and healthy. And although I knew that, as with all surgery, there were risks, it didn’t scare me at all. When you’re young you feel you’re invincible and I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t take the chance to save Oscar.
So, I flew back, went through all the medical checks and was delighted to be told I’d be a perfect match. Our operations took place in Leeds in May 2016 when Oscar was just seven months old.
Here is a picture of Sophie and Oscar just before his transplant:
Recovery from the surgery has gone well although it was a long road. One thing I noticed following the operation was that, in addition to having a scar, I gained weight. I shall never know whether this would have happened anyway as I got older, but having always been a size six, I admit I struggled with this initially.
Now, almost six years on, I am healthy, completely happy with who I am and in fact, body positivity is something I feel very strongly about. My whole beauty business About | glowb | glowb HQ is all about helping women feel confident exactly as they are. I started the business in Australia two years ago, though I have now returned to the UK. Who knows if I would have had the idea and the drive had I not been through this experience? Maybe some things are meant to be.
The best thing of all, however, is seeing Oscar thrive. He is the most hilarious child – a huge character who really enjoys life. We’ve always been close, I’m so proud to be his aunty and I’m thrilled we are liver buddies!
Here is a picture of Sophie and Oscar today: