Press Release

Addenbrooke’s liver transplant appeal success gives precious hope to many

Thursday, 1 August, 2019

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) has reached its £250,000 liver transplant appeal target thanks to the generous support of incredible donors.

The charity wanted to invest in the latest technology to give patients at Addenbrooke’s the best care possible by fundraising for a new liver perfusion machine in 2018. Liver perfusion is a system mimicking the body to ensure a liver’s functionality before transplant. The equipment has now been fully funded, and allows surgeons to ‘test drive’ livers for suitability before transplanting them.

Since the installation of the liver perfusion machine – the first hospital in the UK which has one in routine use for transplants – the Transplant team at Addenbrooke’s have perfused a total of 57 livers, of which 43 were able to be used. This means that the lives of 43 more people have been saved, taking them off the waiting list and enabling them to spend many more years with their loved ones.

Paul Wren was placed on the liver transplant list in 2017. In January 2018, he received a call to say that a liver was ready for him. He travelled down to Addenbrooke’s only to discover that, unfortunately, the liver was not suitable. After this stressful false alarm, Paul was called again in August by the Transplant team who had another liver for him. This time, the liver perfusion machine was in operation. As a result, the suitability of the liver was tested and confirmed for use, and Paul finally received his transplant.

Professor Christopher Watson, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at Addenbrooke’s, said: “Having the machine allows Addenbrooke’s to use the greatest proportion of high risk livers (those where subsequent function would otherwise be uncertain) than any other transplant centre in the UK; it also contributes to our having the best 30-day survival rate and the highest transplant rate per waiting list patient, meaning that fewer patients will die waiting for a liver.”

As more transplants are being carried out –  as well as the forthcoming opt-out system for organ donation – ACT wants to ensure that the hospital is ready for this increased demand. The charity would now like to support improvements that will ensure that patients and the relatives visiting them in hospital are more comfortable, such as making our patient day rooms more homely as well as providing a brighter, more comfortable space for patients being assessed for a liver transplant.

If you would like to make the above improvements a reality for transplant patients, please donate online at and choose ‘Transplant’ from the drop down list.

Find more about our Transplant campaign here.

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