A man who was given two years to live when his belly swelled & as if he were pregnant & # 39; has twins after a life-saving liver transplant.
Danny Millward, of Warrington, Cheshire, suffers from Budd-Chiari syndrome, blocking the veins draining his liver.
The condition affects approximately one in 250,000 adults. It causes an accumulation of blood in the liver, causing the organ to swell, feel soft and become painful.
He was diagnosed in 2011 and had a shunt inserted into his liver to drain the fluid – but his condition was slowly deteriorating.
The engineer was told that he needed an immediate liver transplant in 2015, otherwise he would die within 24 months.
When his body rejected a liver transplant in 2016, Millward began to lose hope of surviving his thirties.
Danny Millward, 33, suffers from Budd Chairi syndrome, which blocks the veins that drain his liver. The condition leads to an accumulation of blood in the liver, causing the organ to swell, feel soft and become painful
Millward (pictured with girlfriend Leanne in 2018) became the father of twins after the life-saving transplant in 2017
The engineer wears a brave face in the hospital before (left) and after (right) undergoing the liver transplant
But he later became the father of twins – a boy and a girl – in 2017 when a stranger donated their organ and his body accepted it.
Millward said about his symptoms in 2015: & I felt tired all the time and didn't eat. I felt so listless. I would only eat because other people let me eat.
& # 39; I have felt this way for a while, but since I was a guy, I was stubborn and ignored it. & # 39;
Only when his boss insisted that he be checked did the true extent of his illness be revealed.
He added: “I originally went to the Warrington Hospital, but was quickly transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
& # 39; After I arrived and had done some testing, the doctor turned to me and said, "You are not going home."
Millward will undergo surgery for a liver transplant in 2016. His body rejected the new organ and crashed into an anaphylactic shock, a potentially fatal allergic reaction
Mr. Millward was told that his liver was failing and that he needed an immediate transplant.
He said: & # 39; I was in a coma-like state, but I was awake. The doctors told me that I was dying. They said I would have two years to live if I didn't have a liver transplant. & # 39;
WHAT IS BUDD-CHIARI SYNDROME?
Budd-Chiari syndrome affects one in 250,000 people and ensures that the veins that drain the liver are blocked.
This leads to an accumulation of blood in the liver, which swells, feels soft and becomes painful.
Liquid then leaks from the liver into the abdominal cavity, which can cause a huge buldge.
Many patients then find it difficult to eat, exercise and even breathe.
In extreme cases, other blood vessels can also be blocked, which can lead to swelling in the ankles and legs.
Blood can then try to move around the body in other veins with more fragile walls.
If these burst, this can lead to deadly internal bleeding.
Liver and kidney failure are also common.
The cause of Budd-Chiari syndrome is unclear, but may be due to a genetic error that affects the blood clots of a patient.
Liver tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy and oral contraception are also linked to the condition.
The treatment is intended to maintain blood flow from the liver.
This can be accompanied by the rechanneling of blocked veins, the control of liver congestion and the prevention of blood clots and abdominal swelling.
Stents can be used to keep the veins of the liver open, while anticoagulants can help maintain blood flow.
If these are not effective and a patient suffers from end-stage liver disease, a transplant may be necessary.
Source: British Liver Trust
In May 2016, he was placed on the liver transplant list in Birmingham.
Millward hoped to find a suitable donor later that year.
But during the operation he received a potentially fatal allergic reaction to the new liver, which meant that the operation had to be postponed.
After the failed transplant attempt, he spent the next eight months waiting to find out if he would undergo the life-saving operation.
He said: & # 39; I got fluid from my stomach every week. Every week my stomach swelled and I looked like I was pregnant.
& # 39; In the months following the first operation, things started to get emotional for me. Every time my friends and family looked at me, they could see the pain in my face.
& # 39; I remember that at some point I told my mother that I would rather die now than live longer with this pain. The pain it caused me and the pain it caused my family was terrible. & # 39;
Eight months after the first attempt, Mr. Millward was told that another liver had been found for him.
He said: & # 39; I received a phone call from the hospital at 2:10 am that they had found another liver for me.
& # 39; I remember feeling very nervous because of what happened the first time. & # 39;
Fortunately, the second operation was successful and he left the hospital on the road to recovery.
After the transplant, he wrote to the donor's family to express his gratitude for saving his life.
He said: & # 39; In my letter I said that a thank you note will never be enough. I promised to live the best of my life as a thank you to the person who saved me.
& # 39; I had nothing for the transplant. Now I have met someone and I am a father of twins two years old. I am also an 11-year-old stepfather. & # 39;
Millward speaks out to draw attention to the week of organ donation and wants to use his story to show people how to save a life.
He said: & # 39; I thought organ donation was just something you hear about and it wouldn't affect me. I used to think that I would never need an organ transplant.
& # 39; I urge everyone to sign up as an organ donor. It can save a life. It is a no brainer. & # 39;
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