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'It's nothing to do with drink'.

MATTHEW was affected by the rare alpha-1 anti-trypsin gene which attacks the liver.

After undergoing the transplant, he picked up an infection which caused his vital organs to close down.

Now he is home, the side-effects of his medicines include headaches and nausea and have created a risk of skin cancer.

He has also gone down from 25 stone to 18 stone and faces the possibility of having to have more transplants.

His mother said: "What also upsets us is that people assume it was to do with drink. One woman asked Matthew if he was an alcoholic, which upset him.

"I would love to be able to send him away to convalesce or give him something he has always wanted, like the chance to drive a Jaguar car, but I can't."

Matthew said: "I have never liked the taste of drink which I now know is because my liver was not working properly.

"What I went through was terrifying but I would do it 20 times over because the alternative is dying and I now know life is precious."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 19, 2001
Words:180
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