Cirrhosis of the liver: Megan McGillin diagnosed at the age of 10

August 29, 2023  –A medical student who was told at the age of 10 she had the liver of an alcoholic has said rowing has delayed her need for a liver transplant.

Megan McGillin, from Northern Ireland, was diagnosed with cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, 11 years ago which stops her liver working properly.

Liver disease in children is rare.

A liver specialist said keeping fit and healthy plays a “critical role in maintaining the liver in a stable condition”.

Cirrhosis cannot be cured or reversed, and many of the liver disorders that cause cirrhosis in children are not preventable.

In the County Down woman’s case, doctors do not know how she got it, but have said the damage could eventually become so extensive that her liver stops functioning, causing it to fail.

“[Doctors] told me, initially when I was diagnosed, that at the age of 18 that I would have a transplant, but I kept fit and well,” Megan said.

“Then when I was 16 or 17, they told me definitely by 21 that I would need a transplant.

“When I turned 21 in November, I didn’t get a transplant for my birthday.

“I just kept on powering through, so they have taken away any timelines now.”

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