"The Gift of Life...A New Liver"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital / Hepatology

(as the patient),

I am a patient at Addenbrookes Hospital/ Clinic.

I was diagnosed with Hep. C over 20 years ago, and it, along with other issues, gave me cirrhosis. 2 years ago, I was recommended/ referred to go to Addenbrookes in Cambridge. I went to Clinic 12 every three months or so. I developed ascites (excess fluid in my abdomen, legs, etc) and began receiving regular drains. Sometimes they would remove up to 21 liters at a time. It got so bad, I was being drained every 10 days. My nurse, a sister/ specialist was the best in the nation. All the staff at the clinic, be it the doctors, registrars, consultants, Nurse Specialists, Nurses, etc were far above any treatment I have EVER received for any health issue.

This past summer I was placed on the liver transplant waiting list. I assumed it would take a year or so. After nearly 4 months, we received the call. When we arrived at the hospital, the process began. It was a well oiled machine. It was very professional, and everyone was so kind, answering any questions we had, helping to soothe our nerves. Our surgeon came in to see me, and again, this man is noted as the best in the country. He was a lovely person, answered everything in detail and repeated things we were unsure about. He kept me and my partner up to date.

Surgery was about 9 hours. I woke up in ICU..again, to extremely well trained and caring professionals. From there I worked my was down to the ward. The nurses were just wonderful. The doctors came in everyday, sometimes 2ce a day. When I developed an infection and fever, I could actually feel the concern from my doctors and nursing staff. They also took care of my partner. The night of surgery, after I went into theater, the nurse who had been taking care of me took my partner and made him some tea. she sat and checked on him, and also arranged for a chair type bed for him to rest in, alone in the room I had been in.

At 7 am the next morning, my drain specialist came in an went straight away to find my partner and to check on him and make sure he was ok..

Once, when I awoke in ICU, I saw her standing there at the door, checking up on me.

She, and my heptologist Nursing Specialist, came to see me 2ce a week for the month I was there. Just to visit, say hi. They came on their lunch breaks, or when they could get away. This meant the world to me. It really did. It showed me how much they TRULY cared about their patients. When I needed a drain after surgery, my specialist came straight away to take care of me, and not have someone else do it.

The food was good. The dietary staff, especially the day staff were wonderful and friendly. As was housekeeping.

Before I left I consulted with the dietitian, 2ce. and I saw the pharmacist specialist, twice. Physiotherapy came and saw me, made sure I was up walking, etc.

I could go on and on..but even now, when I go to clinic every week or every fortnight, I receive the same incredible treatment.

Needing a transplant is a very frightening thing, and most often you have been sick a few years. I felt, and feel like the staff at Addenbrookes are my friends..they genuinely care about me, my health, my recovery, and my partner.

I can honestly say, it was a gift to be treated at Addenbrookes. I'm sure the other transplant centres in the UK are great also but Addenbrookes has a tremendous reputation (most likely because it is the teaching hospital for Cambridge University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world) and they live up to that reputation - above and beyond.

I would recommend this hospital to anyone who needs a liver or kidney transplant. The aftercare is stupendous, and they cover everything, from therapy, to medication, diet, etc. They do this for the rest of your life. It's also the only place in the UK where they do the multi visceral transplants..meaning up to 6 organs at one time in one person. My surgeon is the doctor who preforms those.

in 2017 The major heart transplant center (Papworth) will be moving there also, along with their brilliant staff..This will make Cambridge THE place to go to for transplants.

If you are lucky enough to have a choice..trust me, this is a great choice.

We drive 90 minutes to get there, and its worth every minute of the drive.

Cheering everyone on! : )

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Response from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about the excellent standard of care you have received from all the staff who have been involved in your care at Addenbrooke's. Your kind and thoughtful words will be much appreciated by the staff. It is good to learn that you have received professional care from a variety of staff groups, and I hope you continue to make good progress.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service