Remembering Sawbofeller

Posted November 8, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Howard Davies (a.k.a. Sawbofeller).

Howard was a regular reader and contributor to this blog and a source of much guidance and encouragement to me as I waited for my transplant.

He had his done a couple of years previously and was able to pass on his insights – and wit.

Sawbo and I seemed to compete with each other in these pages for the worst jokes – we had threatened to buy the winner a donut in “appreciation” of my famous one.

But it never happened.

I only met Howard once – at the Royal Free on a clinic day and we had a nice chat together – just like old buddies.

Thanks for your help Sawbo and may you Rest in Peace.


Chopped Liver – The Show Must Go on

Posted October 11, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

Tags: , , ,

Hi Peeps

Just checking in. And acknowledging a noteworthy event that occurred yesterday. You may recall that the subject of my most recent (albeit some months ago) blog posts, Eric Abidal, the Barcelona footballer had a liver transplant earlier this year.

Well, it has been announced that he has rejoined the club for training with a view to playing in the first team again. This really is an astounding fact and shows the true wonders of medical science and the medical teams around the world who practice it.

Apparently he asked his consultant, if, after his transplant, he would be able to play first team football for Barcelona. His consultant replied YES. And so it will come to pass.

Similarly, I am going to ask MY consultant if I, too, will be able to play first team football for Barcelona.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, and fingers, and fingers

As for me, by the way, since you ask, I am doing very well. Bloody marvellous really. Never felt better, really.

I do have one odd goings on with my blood results, a couple of levels are the wrong side of normal – iron level, vit D – that kind of thing. These will be monitored an, hopefully, dealt with in the appropriate manner.

I want to leave you with this little image – and ask the question “Is this the future for genetic engineering?”

Chopped Liver – My Perfect Cousin

Posted April 11, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

Tags: , , , ,

A few reasons for writing this blog. 1) I haven’t written for a while – on account of my stunning good health. Every day someone says to me I look better and better each day – funny that, they never told me I looked crap before!

Another reason is I just couldn’t let this day go by without making use of that song title – and who is the perfect cousin in question you may ask?

eric abidal

Eric Abidal - the body beautiful. Now scarred - with the marks of life, history and heroism

You may.

The answer is -well, I don’t know his name but – I do know he is Eric Abidal’s cousin. Eric Abidal, you may recall is the French international player, in Barcelona, who was told he had to undergo a liver transplant – and I happened to wonder just how long someone of that standing would have to wait for a donation. I should perhaps have not been so cynical (if indeed I was) as the news comes through today that he underwent the transplant just last night with a liver (or part thereof) donated by his cousin.

Now, I ask you to consider this if you will. The liver transplant is a major operation. Imagine offering to go through that – with all the risks involved, both during and post operation just to help out someone else – family member or not. I think it’s heroic.

So, I call on you today to say a little prayer – however you believe, however you pray – for Eric Abidal’s cousin and for Eric Abidal himself – and to send a message out to the world that humanity still offers up feats of greatness.

Chopped Liver – Best Intentions

Posted March 15, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

Tags: , , , ,

I have just found today that the great French footballer, Eric Abidal, who plays for the best club team in the world (yes indeed, Real fans), Barcelona, is to undergo a liver transplant.

I was aware he had a tumour a year or so ago, had an operation, but magically returned to help Barcelona lift the European Cup last year.

But obviously, the signs are still there and transplant is the only option.

He is expected to undergo the operation in a few weeks. Presumably (or not) the seriousness of his condition puts him at the top of the list and has nothing to do with the enormous amount of cash he has. Staggeringly, they are reporting that this has put his participation at the forthcoming European Championships in doubt.

Eh, I’ll say. 

They start in June – it would be truly wonderful if he could be ready to play a part in the tournament given that it will likely be less than 3 months since his operation – then you’ll all accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill in the pages of this blog.

But I do so hope he makes it. I hope he makes it through the operation. And I hope he makes it through to be able to play professional football at the top flight again – that would be a truly remarkable achievement and would give this footballer a chance to raise awareness for the cause of liver disease around the world – and the corresponding urgent need for voluntary donors for transplantation.

Ironic isn’t it that a footballer could have such an influence in this field – given that the one man in history who has done so much damage to the cause of liver transplants was also a footballer – George Best.

Such a high profile figure he was. Arguably the most famous footballer ever – yet he was as famous for his alcohol abuse as much as his football. Famous for (allegedly) jumping the queue to receive a liver transplant caused by his alcohol abuse, and then (allegedly) went on to abuse his new liver leading to his untimely death.

The effect of his actions led people then, and now, to believe that giving money to a liver charity was a pointless activity, as it was only going to help people who do not want to help themselves and who bring the disease upon themselves.

Wasn’t the case with me.

Isn’t the case with many.

Certainly not the case with Eric Abidal.

I wish you all the very best, Eric, for a successful operation and a return to greatness – and I hope you will do what you can to show that a footballer can create a more positive awareness for liver disease around the world.



wish you well, eric abidal

Chopped Liver – Paperback Writer

Posted February 23, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I am buzzing.

Two bits of good news this week.

I had my liver checkup at the Royal Free. Everything looks pretty much ok except for a bit of Vitamin D deficiency – which I have probably cured by basking in the barmy sunny February weather (don’t tell the doc – I’m not supposed to bask in the sun, but hey, it is still February).

And he said to come in … 4 months!!

Now that is good – either that or he cant be bear my sense of humour for another 4 months.

The next bit is – WE ARE AN AUTHOR – as Maggie would have said.

My Book Cover for Amazon Kindle's Liver Transplant Diary

That's Liver Transplant Diary to them... Chopped Liver to you!

Y’see I have taken the best bits out of all these blogs and put them together to make a book (cries from the back – that’ll be 3 paragraphs then), and I have got myself a luuverly front cover, and I have published it on Amazon Kindle – just like that!

And I feel good about that. Not necessarily that I think anyone will buy it (£3.24 after all), but just that after all the effort and all the relevant content, it is out there for someone – someone may be in a similar situation and may find it and get some comfort from it – who knows.

Oh, and guess what… I have not called it Chopped Liver. Strange maybe, but I did it for SEO reasons – more people would be searching for liver transplant than chopped liver, that’s if they were looking for something about liver transplants rather then something you eat on a cracker. So I called it Liver Transplant Diary – and look – you can see it here.

Anyway, I am glad it’s out there.

One thing, though, please… if you meet anyone desperate to buy it – don’t tell them the ending!

(Oh no, look it’s got that same old photo again with the cream jacket… so last season)


Chopped Liver – One Day Like This

Posted February 9, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

Tags: ,

Throw those curtains wide!
One day like this a year’d see me right.

So today is me and my new liver’s 1st birthday.

A momentous day.

And y’know, me and me new liver – we’ve got on just fine.

Just fine.

No arguments.

No fuss.

Just get up each day and get on with it.

I will spare a few thoughts today – to the donor’s family. They are still unknown to me physically – and that’s fine – but spiritually, they are with me – all the way.

I will spare a few thoughts to the remarkable and fantastic team at The Royal Free – the surgeon (Mr. Sharma – who I’m not even sure I really met – but who knows me inside and out!), the consultants, the coordinators, the whole team – too many to mention, too few to forget).

By coincidence, my mum is coming down to us today too – so that’ll be nice for her to share in the celebrations.

I feel buzzin’ today. Like a buzzin’ fly.


Throw those curtains wide!
One day like this a year’d see me right!

Chopped Liver – Life’s a Gastro

Posted February 8, 2012 by davidkallin
Categories: Liver Transplant

One year on and I find myself back in the Royal Free.

But don’t fret – this is my scheduled Gastro appointment – y’know for my Crohns an’ all. I see them every 3 months but since my liver issues took over they have taken a back seat (uni tended pun).

I expect the conversation to go something like this…

So, eh… It’s David isn’t it?


And how are you David?

I’m fine thanks. Never felt better actually, now that you mention it.

Good. Well I see you’re still under careful observations by the liver team so we’ll see you in 3 months?

Fine thanks. Bye.

That’s how I expect it to go. Tell you what – if it goes any different I’d be concerned.


Just got back from the hospital appointment. Here is how it went…

So, eh… It’s David isn’t it?


And how are you David?

I’m fine thanks. Never felt better actually, now that you mention it.

Good. Well I see you’re still under careful observations by the liver team so we’ll see you in 4 months?

Fine thanks. Bye.

There you go – anyone spot the difference?