My sister – liver transplant recipient

Nine Lives Saved: Be a Hero

Diane Denton is my sister, and a liver transplant recipient.  I couldn’t be more proud of her.  After her terrifying ordeal she is making a fantastic recovery.  Dane is now passionate about raising the importance of organ donation.  Her experience opened our eyes to many things, but significantly the importance of organ donation.  I didn’t know that with organ donation you could save up to nine lives.   I also want to take the opportunity to pass it on that from spring 2020 the law around organ donation in England is changing.

Diane is a contributor to Yorkshire’s Be A Hero Campaign, here’s her story:

Diane Denton, 51 years from Batley, had always kept fit and healthy, and was a keen runner.  On 10th December 2017, she woke up with jaundiced eyes which she noticed was unusual but she went to work as usual, as a nurse at Dewsbury District Hospital.

“I chatted with one of the doctors on my ward and we thought it could be a problem with my gall bladder – nothing too serious.  I had numerous blood tests and scans but all we knew was that my liver wasn’t functioning properly.” says Diane.

Diane was admitted to Pinderfields General Hospital following which she was transferred to St James University Hospital in Leeds on the 22nd December in the hope that further tests there could get to the bottom of the problem.

It was here that it was found that her liver was holding iron but nothing more severe had been identified at this point.  Diane was allowed home in the evenings to enjoy the festive season with her family and despite feeling a little nauseous, Diane didn’t feel particularly unwell.

Acute cellular rejection

On New Year’s Eve 2017, Diane had gone to the toilet and when she didn’t return a fellow patient reported it to a member of the nursing team.  They found that Diane had collapsed on the floor due to her condition known as Acute Cellular Rejection.  Diane’s family were called and told to prepare for the worst.  Diane was placed on the transplant list and remained unconscious for five days.  During this time, a donor was identified and Diane underwent transplant surgery.

“I woke up on the 4th January with all my family around me” Diane recalls.  “That’s when they told me I’d had an emergency liver transplant.  I just couldn’t believe it – my last recollection had been visiting the toilet and I woke up several days later and my life had been saved by an organ donation.  I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened.”

The gift of life

The gift of a transplant has allowed Diane to continue her job within the NHS and help people who are going through exactly what she experienced.

“It just goes to show, even the people who are looking after those in need of a transplant can be affected.  Without my donor, I wouldn’t be helping others today.”

Diane has now started running again and hopes to raise money for charity through sponsored races in the very near future.

Find out more about organ donation here

Dawn Giesler, is the founder of scuseme Cambridge, an online marketplace that helps your family run smoothly. She has lived in Cambridge for over 20 years and offers advise based on her own experiences. For more information visit scuseme