IT IS a condition that Andrew Prismall has had since birth but it went undetected until it almost cost him his life.
The 48-year-old has a condition that causes excess iron to build up in his body, which over time damaged his liver.
It was only eight years ago that he started showing symptoms of haemochromatosis when he felt tired and his skin started turning yellow from jaundice.
Eventually medicine didn’t help to control the condition and last year Andrew, of Northcote Road, Southsea, needed to have a liver transplant.
But he had to wait eight agonising months before the call to say a suitable organ was available.
Now the business owner is backing NHS Blood and Transplant’s national campaign to encourage football fans to sign the organ donor register.
The lifelong Pompey fan said: ‘Last September I had a liver transplant as mine was damaged by blood disease – it saved my life.
‘When I was diagnosed at 40 I remember thinking “what is this condition I have?” I started getting really bad leg swellings and many other side-effects until a transplant was my only option.
‘Unfortunately someone lost their life in order for me to have the liver, but it did help me.
‘More people can do something this amazing by signing the register. The change I feel is unbelievable – I’m able to run and will be taking part in the British Transplant Games.
‘I am so happy to be supporting this campaign and I hope it helps others to get a life-saving transplant like me.’
Pompey are supporting the Sign for Life campaign.
Anthony Clarkson, assistant director for organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said: ‘We’re asking all football fans on match day to take a moment to reflect not just on their team’s result, but on whether they would like to help others to live after they have died by donating their organs.
‘If we are to reduce the number of people who die waiting for a transplant, we need more families to agree to organ donation.’
For more visit organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.