James tees off at Trump course

A PETERHEAD man who underwent a liver transplant operation five years ago was one of the first people to play on Donald Trump’s new Menie Estate course last week.

Wednesday, 18th July 2012, 7:00 am

James Morgan’s luck was in when a he received a last minute invite to play at the newly-opened course last week. A keen golfer, James came out tops in his section of the event and won himself a 12 years-old bottle of whisky.

He said: “Being tea total and as I have had a liver transplant it wasn’t the best thing to win! So I donated the bottle instead.”

“I did get to see Donald Trump and his sons but I never got a photo graph with them as I’d left my phone in the car. He appeared to be really busy chatting to everyone and getting his photo taken. He looks very different in real life than he does on the telly.”

James couldn’t have picked a better week to be invited along to the Trump International golf course as last week was National Transplant Week and the story has given him the chance to highlight the importance of donating organs.

He told the Buchanie : “I had the liver transplant on February 1, 2007 and was five-and-a-half stone at my lowest weight which at 6 feet 3 inches is not a lot. After my transplant a lot of my friends and family signed up to donate.

“I wouldn’t be here today and my daughter Megan wouldn’t have had a dad from the age of eight without the transplant. Megan is what kept me going. I think there is only one person who should walk their daughter down the aisle - it should be their father.

“I never thought about donating before I became ill. I was never ill so I just never thought about. It’s so easy to donate though. It’s important to donate your organs, I mean let’s face it when your dead they are no use to you anymore and you can save someone’s life.”

“I don’t know anything about the person whom my liver came from but I wrote to their family to thank them. I couldn’t write to them directly as any correspondence is done through the donor and receiving transplant co-ordinators.

“I just wanted to say thank you to them. I don’t know if I would be brave enough to turn off someone’s life-support machine, it’s a hard decision to make.

“I actually needed heart surgery two months after my transplant. I had received tainted blood infected with the Hep C virus which then developed into cirrhosis of the liver, which is why I needed the transplant. I had to have interferon and combination

medication to clear the Hep C. It was a tough medication regime which resulted in my overall health deteriorating. I became severely ill in November 2005 and in addition to the transplant ended up with endocarditis which required life saving heart surgery.”

James, who has since made a full recovery, is now urging people to register themselves as an organ donor . If you would like to register please visit: www.uktransplant.org.uk or phone 0845 60 60 400.