Sally was first diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis in March 1987, when she was just 22 years old.
"I had been very fit and healthy and lived a completely normal and active life. I attended an outdoor management development course at the end of 1986 and when I got home, I became very ill. Over the next three months my health quickly deteriorated and I was admitted to hospital where I went into a coma. Eventually I was rushed to London where my devastated parents were told I had approximately twelve hours to live.
The doctors never gave up hope and my details were entered on the urgent transplant register. Miraculously, and against all odds, a donor organ became available and I underwent an emergency liver transplant in March 1987.
Unaware of just how ill I had been, my doctors and family carefully explained that I had received a new liver. Initially, I was shocked about what had happened to me and what the future would be like. Very quickly I accepted the circumstances of my transplant and within twelve weeks I was home.
I made a full recovery and although I still have to take anti-rejection drugs and will do so for the rest of my life, without my transplant I certainly would have died all those years ago. Thanks to my transplant not only have I had a brilliant career but, much more importantly, I have been here to be a part of my family's life. I met and married my husband John and I have seen my two beautiful nieces born and grow up. Twenty-five years have flown by but I've loved every minute. I am determined to live a normal, happy and healthy life for as long as possible.
I am so grateful to my doctors, to the surgeons who carried out the transplant and to the family of the donor who gave me this second chance. But I know that behind all this medical skill and care were years of research that turned a theory into a treatment for someone like me. I will be forever grateful to all those people who made my liver transplant both a possibility and a success."