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Vital liver transplant is my passport to travel the world, says Sinead

A YOUNG woman who underwent a liver transplant after cirrhosis threatened her life has revealed how she now hopes to travel in Canada or Australia.

Sinead Faulkner (20) was 13 when she was diagnosed with hepatitis and cirrhosis.

By the time she was 19 her condition became so severe that the Drogheda native lost 1.5 litres of blood one night and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

Now one year after the operation, Sinead has opened up about her life-saving operation.

"Doctors never thought that it would really come to having a transplant, we never discussed it when I was diagnosed because we thought that the condition could be managed.

"It was just bad luck. "Doctors had me on tablets to keep the disease at bay after I was diagnosed at 13 and I just sort of got on with life.

"Then one week when I was alone at home in September 2010 I started feeling unwell but I thought it was the flu.

"My sister Suzanne (26) and my boyfriend Cormac came over to visit me but apparently I was wincing in pain every time I moved in bed. That night, I ended up getting sick and there was a lot of blood in the basin.

"I collapsed and banged my head against the wall.

"I don't remember anything that happened from then on until about a week later when I woke up from an induced coma.

"I was told later that it was touch and go, I had lost 1.5l of blood and I had to get two blood transfusions."

Sinead was then placed on the waiting list for a transplant and after five months she got a call about a transplant.

"I was concerned that my body would not accept the liver, and that I would need a high dose of steroids but I recovered well.

"I was back in work in Centra within a month.

"I'm back to the person I am now, I have a lot more energy and I'll be going to study make up artistry next month and once Cormac has finished his apprenticeship, we'll be heading off to Canada or Australia -- something I couldn't have considered without this."

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association, LoCall 1890 543639, or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit the website www.ika.ie