Adam Gilmore with Vanessa Pickens, Anne Judd, and Dr Theresa Beswick.
Adam Gilmore with Vanessa Pickens, Anne Judd, and Dr Theresa Beswick. Rob Wright

Liver transplant transformed Adam

WHEN Adam Gilmore heard the life-changing message, those around him said he was "like an expectant father".

After being diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency syndrome, Mr Gilmore was afflicted by liver disease.

For more than three years this meant regular hospital visits (each up to two weeks long) to drain the fluid build-up.

The fluid would cause immense discomfort and difficulty breathing - during one visit 19.3 litres was drained.

It was on one of these routine stays that he got THE call - at 1.22pm on May 16, 2011, he remembers with absolute clarity.

"They told me they had a liver for me and a plane at Grafton was diverted to take me to Royal Prince Alfred," Mr Gilmore said.

"Everyone at the hospital who were involved in the whole process were fantastic.

"I was on the operating table by 8.30pm the same day."

Coffs Harbour nurse unit manager Vanessa Pickens said when Mr Gilmore got the call he couldn't sit still.

She said that seeing how the transplant changed his life had been a career highlight.

"Knowing Adam's history through his regular admissions and building rapport with his family I understand what it meant to get that call," Ms Pickens said.

Mr Gilmore shared his story at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus yesterday to coincide with a visit from the new DonateLife NSW state medical director Dr Robert Herkes and state nurse manager Ellie McCann.

Mr Gilmore implored families to talk about organ donation.

"You don't want to think about making a decision like that at a time of crisis," he said.

"Let your loved ones know your wishes, and change a life like mine was changed."

Visit www.donatelife.gov.au for more information.



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