Royston woman in need of liver transplant urges local people to join the donor register

Sarah Barker is in need of a liver transplant and is calling on people to donate

Sarah Barker is in need of a liver transplant and is calling on people to donate - Credit: Archant

A Royston woman who is desperately in need of a liver transplant is calling out to her fellow townsfolk to join the donor list this Christmas.

Sarah Barker, who is 33 this month, was born with biliary atresia – a condition where inflammation develops within the bile ducts – which has led to liver infections later in life.

She said: “People didn’t really survive the condition in those days. Luckily my surgeon had training in Kasai surgery – a new type of surgery introduced by leading surgeon-scientist Morio Kasai.

“Luckily he taught people in the UK such as my surgeon how to do the operation – which saved my life.”

Sarah has two children and, when she had her second child, she developed a liver infection. In the last 18 months she has had to go to the hospital the equivalent of once a month due to recurring problems.

When suffering the symptoms –such as headaches and nausea – she goes to hospital and is put on antibiotics. But doctors are now running out of antibiotics to give her, meaning a transplant is essential.

Sarah said: “The doctors said this is ridiculous, I need a transplant. It’s all because of what I was born with.

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“Last year I spent Christmas Day in hospital with the infection, and I hope I won’t have to do the same this year.

“The average wait for a liver transplant is 12 weeks. Because of my condition, I have been waiting for 22 weeks.

“A lot of my friends have signed up to the organ donation register, they said they never really thought about it before. It’s about spreading the word. I always think to myself, if I am willing to accept an organ, I need to be willing to donate. The same with my children. They are on the organ list as well – if they died they could help other children. It’s the gift of life.”

Registering is simple, visit the website at to find out more.