Michael Moss has one big aim after an amazing recovery from a liver transplant – to get back on the first tee at Bradley Hall Golf Club, Halifax, and make a welcome return to his position of Corps Director of Anchormen Drum & Bugle corps, based in Elland.
When his daughter, Sally-Ann went on Facebook to announce her Dad had come round after the 12-hour surgery he got 120 “likes” and 50 comments from his pals and their support, together with the support of his family has carried him through.
Recalling those early post-op days in March this year, he said: “I received tremendous support from all of them especially my wife Anne and daughter Sally. I wouldn’t be here without their support; the strength from all of them was amazing.”
Michael, 71, from Friendly, Sowerby Bridge, spent six months on the waiting list after a consultation at Calderdale Royal Hospital confirmed his liver was failing badly after years of disease including colitis and sclerosing cholangitis (narrowing of the bile ducts). He underwent five days of tests to confirm he could survive and recover from the surgery.
Throughout his time waiting he could never be further than two hours away from Leeds St James’s Hospital and when the call came he went in he had the operation within hours.
He said: “The call came and they told me they were 99% certain it would be fine and I just went blank at that point. I knew it was a huge op and that it had finally come and I had a sense of shock and lot of relief at the same time.”
Yet almost immediately he felt the change – as his doctors predicted he would.
He said: “The difference I felt afterwards – almost straightaway – was unbelievable. The doctors said I would notice it and I did. I just felt normal again as if all my health problems were now part of the past, I was me again, and I was back to how I used to be. The surgeons and staff at the Liver Transplant Unit at St. James’s Hospital Leeds were incredible
Mr Moss is now on monthly check-ups and a recovery programme of rest and activities to build up his strength together with anti-rejection tablets which he must take for the rest of his life. His consultant, Dr Ashwin Verma, at Calderdale Royal Hospital has cared for him for many years and Mr Moss says he has been excellent throughout monitoring his health and advising on the decision to go on the waiting list for a transplant.
He knows only the basic details about his donor who remains anonymous. He added: “It is strange, as when you are on the waiting list as you are waiting, in effect, for another tragedy to happen to someone else. But I recognise that I have another chance and I am going to make the most of it to honour my donor’s memory.”
As a result of his transplant, many of his friends and family have now joined the organ donor register to become donors themselves.
He added: “A donor has given me my life back. I would say to anyone who reads my story and thinking of joining the register then do it and also very importantly make sure their families know they are on it so if a difficult decision has to be made it is less traumatic for your loved ones.”