A MUM who faces a daunting wait for a liver transplant has signed up to the donor list herself to help other patients.
Lorraine Porter, 49, first knew something was wrong when she began vomiting blood in May last year and was taken to Basildon Hospital.
A month later it happened again and she was diagnosed with long-term liver damage caused by autoimmune hepatitis, which causes the body to attack itself.
She is not yet ill enough to meet the criteria for a liver transplant, but has still signed up to the NHS Donor Organ Donor Register, along with her husband Lance and two children Ben, 21, and Holly, 18.
Her condition does not mean she is precluded from being on the organ donation register.
The nursery worker said: “One day I was fine, the next I was given this life-changing diagnosis.
“As soon as my medication stops working and my enzyme levels drop, I will go on the transplant list and it’s made the organ donation register very real for me.
“A transplant would give me a second chance at life.
“My husband and I discussed it and decided to put our names on the register because we feel when you’re gone, you’re gone.
“You don’t need your organs anymore.
“My children are adults and make their own decisions and they are on the register too.
She has also been referred by specialist nurse Sarah Tarff to St Luke’s Hospice, which is working with Basildon Hospital to help provide care, treatments and support for patients with long term liver problems.
Mrs Porter, from Basildon, said: “I’m very mindful of the impact my diagnosis, illness and the possibility of being put on the transplant list, is having on my family. That is the other reason I appreciate the support of St Luke’s.
“My family will have support too.
It’s taken the pressure off my husband as I have someone else to talk to besides him.”
She spoke out as part of National Transplant Week. For more information, visit transplantweek.co.uk