Lucas, 25, liver transplant recipient: “It saved my life”

Lucas, 25, liver transplant recipient: “It saved my life”
Lucas, 25, liver transplant recipient: “It saved my life”

On this national day of reflection on organ donation and transplantation, Lucas, a liver transplant recipient at the age of 24, gives his testimony.

“I was slowly dying”, remembers Lucas. At the age of 24, the young Montpellier resident received a liver transplant in January 2023. Suffering from cirrhosis following a genetic disease, the operation had become inevitable.

“At 24, you can’t imagine having to go through this”

When the diagnosis fell in March 2021, the symptoms were non-existent. “I found it hard to believe that my liver had cirrhosis. Everything was going very well”he reports.

Within two years, Lucas reached a critical stage. “My condition deteriorated very quickly. However, the doctors predicted several years of peace for me, reports the young man. My liver was no longer eliminating toxins. They came to lodge in my brain. I was in a permanent state of falling asleep. I couldn’t do anything anymore.”.

Lucas is placed on the waiting list for a liver transplant at Montpellier University Hospital. “I was considered a priority. I was quickly called. This transplant saved my life”he explains.

The six months following the operation were painful for the young man, both physically and psychologically. “At 24, you can’t imagine having to go through this. It was a daily struggle”trust Lucas.

The gift, a rebirth

A year after his transplant, the operation leaves its mark. On Lucas’ stomach, a large scar reminds him of his fragility. “I understood the importance of taking care of your body. I do everything to have the healthiest life possible”, confides the young man. He even discovered a passion for sport, particularly swimming.

His career plans have also evolved. Previously a market gardener, the young man now devotes himself to his passion, music. “Without this operation, I would never have taken the plunge”, admits Lucas. A new life opens up to him.

“Donating an organ is like offering a rebirth to the beneficiaries”, certifies Florence Vachiéry Lahaye, hospital coordinator of transplant donations at Montpellier University Hospital. There, 1,213 patients were registered on the transplant waiting list as of December 31, 2023, mainly with kidney disease.

Supporting families

“National organ donation day is an opportunity to raise awareness of this cause, but also to show gratitude to donors. Without them, no transplants are possible,” insists the white coat.

Organ donations are made possible in the event of brain death. Deaths that can be extremely violent for families. In the event of no opposition to the deceased’s donations, the decision to donate organs rests with her. “We try to support them as best as possible.”

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