Humor and love have gotten Tony Maidment through many difficult years. Twenty-two years ago, Tony was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a disease that scars the bile ducts of the liver. By the time Tony was told he needed a new liver to survive he had been given a secondary diagnosis of auto immune hepatitis, endured numerous painful surgeries and battled frequent infections. Once an avid marathon runner, Tony was now so frail he could no longer work. He battled constant pain and debilitating fatigue.
That all changed in May 2017 when Tony received a call from his transplant coordinator that a liver had been found. Tony and his family received this news with cautious optimism. Months prior, Tony’s transplant coordinator had given him this exact news, only to learn that the liver was not viable. Their hopes were dashed. The wait continued. Tony and his family remained positive and joked that this was a ‘practice run’. Luckily for him, this call was not a false alarm. Tony received his new liver and with it a second chance at life. A chance to walk his daughter down the isle, to travel with his family, and to train for a marathon.
Tony credits his wife of 23 years and children with giving him the strength and resolve to never give up. He looks forward to growing old with his wife, who has never left his side.
Tony knows how fortunate he is to have received a second chance at life, “It has been said that you or someone you know is more likely to need a transplant than become an organ donor. I hope that in my lifetime, transplant research makes it possible for everyone suffering with end-stage organ disease to receive a transplant. No one should die waiting.” Knowing that demand will likely always outweigh supply, Tony believes the answer for this will come from research. The ability to repair damaged organs, a process called ex-vivo perfusion, is one of the ways transplant medicine is increasing the number of organs available for transplantation. These are organs that would otherwise be rejected for transplant.
Looking toward the future, Tony is busy preparing for the Canadian Transplant games, which will be held in Vancouver this summer. He will compete in honor of his donor and their family. He lives every day in honor of this selfless individual who saved his life.