Fife man reveals how his life was saved by an organ donor

Fraser Sneddon with wife Nicole and son Abie. Pic: David Cruickshanks.
Fraser Sneddon with wife Nicole and son Abie. Pic: David Cruickshanks.

A former Lochgelly man would not be here today if it wasn’t for a successful liver transplant operation which saved his life six years ago.

Now Fraser Sneddon is urging others to sign up to the organ donor register to help save others – after he experienced the devastating impact a failing vital organ can have on a patient and their family.

Fraser Sneddon had a successful liver transplant operation six years ago. Pic: David Cruickshanks.

Fraser Sneddon had a successful liver transplant operation six years ago. Pic: David Cruickshanks.

The 31-year-old was the 1000th patient to receive a new liver at the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in November 2011.

He was placed on the transplant waiting list at the end of October that year and within 30 days, a positive match was found.

The father-of-one said: “I was born with a congenital liver defect, biliary atresia, and underwent an operation to correct it when I was just six weeks old. I had a 50/50 chance of surviving.

“I have been on medication my whole life and I had to go for hospital check ups every six months. Things were going ok until I was about 16 years old and then I had difficulties.”

Nicola Sturgeon, then Scottish Health Secretary, with Fraser Sneddon and fellow transplant patient Lesley Ross.

Nicola Sturgeon, then Scottish Health Secretary, with Fraser Sneddon and fellow transplant patient Lesley Ross.

Fraser began to feel unwell and his health began to deteriorate. His skin became more jaundiced and he became very self conscious of his appearance.

Then at the age of 24 his condition became life-threatening - his stomach became very bloated and he was in agony. Fraser said: “I really wasn’t well and I knew I was on my last legs - I even told my family to prepare as I wouldn’t be there for Christmas. At the hospital one of the surgeons told me there was a possibility of a liver coming for me but because the timescale was so tight I would need to go under anesthetic before the liver arrived.”

The milestone operation took longer than expected because of Fraser’s previous surgery. However, within 10 hours the procedure was hailed a success when the liver began functioning correctly right away.

He said: “It was a really quick recovery - I looked normal and I felt a lot stronger, my hair also grew back. I got married two years ago to my wife Nicole and we had a son Abie which was amazing because I did not think I would be able to have children because I had been on medication for so many years.”

He continued: “If it wasn’t for one amazing person and their gift of life, I wouldn’t be here today. There will be someone out there right now who is going through what I went through and this is why it is so important for people to sign up as organ donors.”

He added: “My parents have a healthy son, my wife has a healthy husband and I am now a daddy with some amazing friends – I could not be more grateful for this incredible gift.”

Visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate/register-your-details/