To help raise awareness in Organ Donation Week 2017, Emma has shared her transplant story...
I was born with alpha-one antitrypsin deficiency. I took medication and had regular hospital appointments but up until I was 8 years old, I lived a pretty normal life.
When I was 8 years old, I fell ill with Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis which led to a deterioration of my liver condition (because it could no longer fight infection). It was because of this illness that I was put on the waiting list for a liver transplant.
After several unsuccessful visits to the hospital, being called in and finding out that the liver was not actually a match, I finally received my transplant a year later when I was 9 years old. My operation lasted 8 hours and I was in the hospital for 3 weeks recovering.
After my operation, my health remained stable and well, and I went back to school after 3 months off. 11 years later and I am studying for a degree in Criminology at Lancaster University and just reached my goal of running a 10k race under an hour! I still take daily medication and have 6 monthly hospital visits but this does not stop me from living a normal, healthy and happy life.
A few words now can make an extraordinary difference. Tell your family how you feel about organ donation this Organ Donation Week. Find out more on the NHS Organ Donation website.