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Brave teenager marks milestone

PUBLISHED: 15:53 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 July 2010

Sam Austin, pictured with his family.

Sam Austin, pictured with his family.

IT was an occasion he might never have seen, but a brave teenager has celebrated the 10th anniversary of the operation that saved his life.

Family and friends joined 16 year old Sam Austin for a party to mark the occasion in Burgh Castle last week.

IT was an occasion he might never have seen, but a brave teenager has celebrated the 10th anniversary of the operation that saved his life.

Family and friends joined 16 year old Sam Austin for a party to mark the occasion in Burgh Castle last week.

Sam was just six months old when he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Intra Hepatic Cholestasis.

After years suffering with the potentially fatal condition he underwent a liver transplant at a London hospital in 1999.

Sadly Sam, from Gorleston, will need to have a further transplant as his body has since rejected the organ.

He has been unable to attend school for the last two years, but is hoping to be well enough to go to college in September.

Mum Mandy said: “If Sam had not had the operation he would not be here so we are very thankful for that.

“He will need another transplant, one day he can be feeling fine and the next really ill, but is hanging in there.

“The hardest thing for him is not being able to do the same things as other young people his age.

“We take each day as it comes, but hopefully Sam will be well enough to go to college in September.

“At the moment he has got progressive chronic rejection and cannot have a transplant until he suffers acute rejection.

“Friends and family have given us so much support, if it were not for them I don't think I could have coped.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Burgh Hall who made sure the party went to plan.”

Sam has to take medication to control the condition which causes symptoms including itchy skin, chronic fatigue and jaundice.

He attends James Paget University Hospital and King's College Hospital in London for tests to monitor his health.

Guests at the party donated £240 for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation, which provides advice and support to young people like Sam and their families.

Contact: www.childliverdisease.org.


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