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Norwich liver transplant man in plea for donors

PUBLISHED: 10:32 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:42 02 July 2010

Brendan Joyce.

Brendan Joyce.

Stephen Pullinger

The director of Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT), Brendan Joyce, has issued a heartfelt plea for people to sign up as prospective organ donors as he recovers at home from a liver transplant.

The director of Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT), Brendan Joyce, has issued a heartfelt plea for people to sign up as prospective organ donors as he recovers at home from a liver transplant.

Mr Joyce, 52, of Hellesdon, Norwich, was diagnosed with liver cancer in June last year after investigative surgery and had the transplant operation last month.

The life-saving procedure took more than 10 hours and involved a 16-day stay in Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge.

He said: “I am still a bit sore and tired but recovering well and looking forward to getting back to work for Norfolk's wildlife as soon as I can.

“It is amazing to have been given this gift of life and I am extremely grateful to the donor and their family for their extraordinary generosity. I also want to pay tribute to the surgeons, doctors and ward staff at Addenbrooke's. Their expertise, care and friendliness were nothing short of excellent and they deserve great praise and admiration for the fantastic job they do.”

Mr Joyce, who will celebrate 15 years as director of NWT in May, said he was eager to encourage more people to become organ donors at a time when there were patients who were not as lucky as he had been and sadly did not get offered a transplant in time because of critical shortage.

“I can understand the idea of being an organ donor not sitting well with everybody, but there are huge numbers of people who are willing to become donors but simply do not get around to registering their intentions. I would like to appeal to anyone considering being a donor to act now,” he said.

When Mr Joyce takes up the reins again in the summer, he will be spearheading the NWT's latest campaign to raise £1m to extend three of the trust's reserves.

The appeal is to buy farmland at Hilgay, near Downham Market, a site in the Bure Valley between Upton Marshes and Ranworth Broad and 20 acres adjoining Grimston Warren.

To join the organ donor register visit www.uktransplant.org.uk or call 0300 1232323. To find out more about the land purchase appeal visit www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/appeal

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