I had been perfectly fit and working up until I suddenly vomited one night.  Thought it was something I'd eaten.  Went to work the next day, later that afternoon one of the boys said my eyes looked yellow.  Went to the doctor who did blood tests and thought I had Hepatitis.  Stayed at home taking all sorts of concoctions and getting very yellow.  Urine now orange.  Now had no energy.  Rushed into hospital.  By this time I am starting to go downhill.  I can't remember the last week of hospital, the plane trip to Brisbane, or much else for a few weeks.  I'm now at the top of the list for a transplant.  Doctors got me stabilised.  Total disruption to family.  My wife is with me.  How she coped, I don't know.  The three kids at home are scared stiff.  I'm hallucinating; sitting on the overhead fan and watching doctors and nurses rushing around, really weird stuff.  

I start coming right, and they let me out for day outings.  I have become institutionalized and feel safe only in my hospital bed, but look forward to an outing, knowing that in a couple of hours I'll be back in my bed.  Very strange.  

My wife has organized a really nice apartment on the river.  I'm now allowed to stay in the apartment which is only about 10 minutes from PA Hospital.  Blood tests every morning.  The numbers are off the scale, but I feel a bit better. 

As I got better I slipped down the waiting list and finally one night four months after I arrived I got a phone call at 10:30pm.  I didn't get excited, stayed calm and headed into hospital.  I had already had one false alarm, while I was in hospital.  

The operation took about 12 hours.  A couple of days in I.C.U. then into the ward.  A friend of ours had just flown his Microlight plane from New Zealand to Aussie, so when I finally woke up there he was, and a reporter from the paper.  Quite a bit to take in.  Ten days later out of the ward and back to the apartment.  Made good progress, body still pretty fragile.  Four months later, I arrived back home.  Overwhelmed at homecoming.  Had to take it all in.  This is definitely better than being in a box.  A few of my friends did not survive.  Really upset me.  My job was held open for me, and two months after arriving home I started working full-time again.  Funny thing is, when you're at work, you don't want to be, and when you're ill, you want to work.  

It's now three years since the operation and I feel damn' good!  Thanks have to go to my wife and children, they had the hardest job.  Putting up with me was hell some days.  Do what you want to do, while you can.  We all have a second chance.  Don't abuse it.  Last, but not least, the donor family.  I think of them every day.  I cannot thank them enough for my second chance.