Councillor’s thanks for the gift of life

Colin Brown and his wife with a small  amount of the many get well cards he received.
Colin Brown and his wife with a small amount of the many get well cards he received.

Well-known Angus Councillor Colin Brown is recovering at home in Forfar following a life-saving liver transplant.

Colin, who has been at the forefront of supporting youth groups in the town, including Forfar Youth Club and Forfar Farmington Football Club, had suffered ill-health for almost three years when he was placed on the organ register at the end of November.

What followed was a roller-coaster week of hope and disappointment when, in the space of only a few days, a suitable match was found only to be rejected, with a second suitable organ then made available.

Colin attended Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on November 19 for assessments and tests, and was placed on the register for a liver transplant on November 28.

On December 2 he was called to E.R.I. when it was thought a suitable donor had been found, only for that operation to be cancelled at the eleventh hour when it emerged the liver was unsuitable.

Incredibly, Colin was called back to the hospital on December 5 and, on this occasion, the operation went ahead successfully the following day.

He made such good progress that, following two days in intensive care, three days in the high dependency unit and then five days on the ward, he was allowed home on December 18.

His recovery at home has been remarkable and he now attends E.R.I. every three weeks.

Councillor Brown has been overwhelmed with the support he has received from throughout the community - and has made a heart-felt plea to everyone to consider carrying a donor card.

He told the “Dispatch and Herald”: “It turned out I was producing too much iron in my blood and my liver wasn’t dealing with it. For the last 18 months I have had to have fluid drained off, on some occasions up to 15 or 18 litres at a time.

“I was told I needed a transplant on November 28. Some people can wait 18 months for a suitable liver. I was lucky. Before my operation I was walking with a stick and couldn’t walk very far. I was very limited to what I could do. I knew I was living on borrowed time and before my transplant, I was spent.

“I am aware that, for me to receive this liver, a family had to make a difficult decision. I am going to write to the family, via E.R.I. to say that their loss has given me the chance to live a normal life again because what I was going through wasn’t normal.”

Since his transplant, Colin’s daughters Gillian, Alison and Nicola now all carry donor cards.

He continued: “I thank everyone who has sent me best wishes, cards, those who visited me in hospital and the Lowson Memorial Church for the lovely flowers.

“My heartfelt thanks go to the family of the donor. They had to lose someone to give me the chance of having my life back.”