'I started drinking aged 10': Alcoholic, 26, desperately in need of new liver sits by phone waiting for a life-saving callHe was drinking 16 cans and a bottle of spirits as a teenager
Diagnosed with liver cirrhosis when he was 21Only stands a 20 per cent chance of getting the donor liver he needs
A young man who started drinking at the age of 10 is desperately waiting for a life-saving liver transplant.
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Matt Maden has only a 20 per cent chance of getting an organ because of the massive demand for donor livers
Mr Maden, from Bournemouth, Dorset, was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, as a result of alcohol abuse, when he was 21.
Since then, he has had three life-threatening bleeds. He has also had a stent – a plastic tube – placed into his liver, to prevent fluid from building up in his stomach and lungs.
Despite his desperate need, Matt has only a 20 per cent chance of getting an organ because of the massive demand for donor livers.
Dr Varuna Aluvihare, from King's College London – where Mr Maden's transplant will take place if a suitable match is found – says one in five patients die on the waiting list.
'Tragically, every year we fail to keep someone like Matt alive,' Dr Aluvihare said.
'We don't have enough organs at the moment and someone like Matt could be on the list for about 18 months.'
Alcohol-related illnesses cost the NHS 3billion a year and the UK economy 50billion a year say experts
Mr Maden said: 'It's really scary living with the knowledge that the odds are so heavily against you.'
The first time he got drunk was at the age of 15. 'I remember waking up the next morning and my first thought was, “when can I next do that again”,' he said.
Mr Maden said he built up a 'strong tolerance' to alcohol. 'I went from drinking about eight cans of lager to get drunk and then, say a year down the line, it'd take maybe double that,' he said.
'After a couple of years I'd have to have maybe a bottle of spirits to go along with that.'
Dr Aluvihare believes society's binge drinking culture is to blame for a lot of alcohol-related illnesses today.
'More people of Matt's age will be coming and seeing someone like me,' he said.
'And you really don't want to be coming to see someone like me, because by that point you're in real trouble.'
Mr Maden, who eventually ended up drinking alcohol at all times of the day, said his social life 'started to decay' as a result.
He said: 'I started to become a bit more reclusive. For a lot of years alcohol gave me confidence.
'Little did I know that in the end alcohol would actually turn on me and it would start to control me.'
Mr Maden said he is no longer ashamed to admit he is an alcoholic.
'But when he woke up in hospital in 2006, after being in an alcohol-induced coma for two weeks, he said he was in 'total denial'.
'My immediate thought was, “it's not the drink”,' he said.
Mr Maden, who is originally from Oxford but moved to Bournemouth to attend a clinic, had four weeks of physiotherapy to learn to walk again before he could undergo rehabilitation.
He said: 'I'm glad to say I haven't had a drink since I moved down here four and a half years ago.
'How I behaved in the past was really, really selfish. I can't imagine what I must have put my family through – it must have been heartbreaking.
'I know I can't change the past but I think it's what I do today, and in the future, that matters now.'
Alcohol-related illnesses cost the NHS 3billion a year and the UK economy 50billion a year, say experts.