Saved by two new livers

The Queensland Times | Hannah Burch

Tony and Michelle Kocsis. Michelle has had two liver transplants and wants other people to have the discussion about organ donation. Rob Williams

MICHELLE Kocsis will become a grandmother this month.

She's already a council worker, a dog owner, a wife and a mother to two young women.

Michelle is also the recipient of two liver transplants.

More than a decade ago, she experienced headaches bad enough to instigate a trip to her doctor.

A lucky blood test detecting abnormal liver function was the first hint of a rare disease that inevitably leads to the organ transplant waiting list.

"They diagnosed me, finally, with primary sclerosing cholangitis," Michelle said.

"It causes infections and inflammation in the bile duct which results in scarring.

"You end up with cirrhosis and then liver failure."

Though she grew up in the Lockyer Valley, Michelle and her family were then living a different life in Tasmania.

But liver transplants are not performed in the tiny island state - the nearest option for Tasmanians waiting for a new liver is to move to Melbourne. Continue reading