Hero NHS doctor may have just months to live – unless he gets a transplant

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The wife of a cancer-stricken NHS doctor is making a desperate plea for a living donor to help save his life.

Dr Abbas Al-Qafaji has been heroically helping to save lives on the frontline throughout the pandemic.

But his wife fears the dad-of-three could be dead himself within months unless he gets urgent help from a living liver donor.

“He has worked so hard for this country in the NHS and now we would love someone to help him,” his wife, Farah, 47 a medical scientist, said.

“He has three children who need their dad. I don’t know what we would do if he was to die without a transplant.”

Abbas, 52, said: “This is a cry for help, we are in a desperate situation. My wife and I weren’t born in this country, and we have no one else to support us or our three children.

“I don’t know what the future holds for them if something does happen. I have been put on a waiting list for a new liver, but don’t know how long that will take. This country has given me so much. It would mean the world if someone could help me.”

The A&E doctor, from Grimsby, Lincs, was diagnosed after being involved a car crash which left him with a back injury.

When he was scanned, doctors discovered he had major liver disease that had triggered a tumour. He has undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy to halt the spread of cancer, but now urgently needs a liver transplant.

Despite being at risk of catching Covid he has carried on working in A&E departments in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The couple have three children, Saif, 13, Nawal,10 and young Dalal, four.

Farah added: “It is scary and we are very worried for Abbas. He has a loving family who are immensely proud of the work he has been doing for the NHS.”

The family do not have any relatives in this country. Farah is not a match to be a donor for her husband.

She is hoping that members of the Iraqi community in the UK might see her plea and offer to help. The dad added: “It’s a tremendous strain knowing time is running out.”

His blood type is B+, meaning anyone from the B or O blood groups could be a match. Abbas, originally from Basra, came to the UK more than 20 years ago.

NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Our hearts go out to Abbas and his family and we hope he gets the transplant he desperately needs.”

A donor would give 30% of their liver to a recipient. The organ can grow back to its original size in just a few months.

If you want to help Abbas, please email [email protected]

The transplant team from Leeds Hospital will get back to you.

Support has been rising for organ donation as a new Mirror- backed law offers hope to patients.

NHS Blood and Transplant said 1,580 people donated organs after they died in the 12 months to

March, helping 3,760 recipients. The total was on track to be a record before the pandemic led to a drop in transplants.

The consent rate from families of donors rose from the 68% average

last year to 74.5% in March. After our four-year campaign, England moved to an ‘opt out’ system in May thanks to Max and Keira’s law – named after Max Johnson, 12, and his heart donor Keira Ball, nine,

who died in a car crash. Anthony Clarkson, director at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Boosted by the new law and growing public support, we hope more lives than ever can be saved.”

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