Man dies from binge-drinking at age of just TWENTY-TWO, three years after he's rejected for transplant
Gareth Anderson had vowed to give up alcohol in 2010 saying 'I don't want to end my life this early'He began drinking again within six months and was charged with attacking his motherGareth was in and out of court during 2011 on different charges and was imprisoned for three months for assaulting a police officerHe died two weeks ago surrounded by his family
17:06 GMT, 19 June 2012
A binge-drinking young man has lost the fight against liver failure at the age of 22 after he refused to give up alcohol.
Gareth Anderson is thought to be one of the youngest victims of chronic alcohol abuse in the UK.
He first suffered liver failure when he was 19 but was rejected for a liver transplant because he was still drinking.
Gareth Anderson, pictured aged 19 in 2009, at the Ulster Hospital in Belfast. He tried and failed to give up alcohol, which ultimately killed him
Mr Anderson died in hospital surrounded by his family earlier this month after spurning several attempts to beat his addiction.
The young man’s heartbroken father Brian Anderson, a former police officer, said the loss of his son has been extremely traumatic.
'We’re devastated, really and truthfully,' Mr Anderson said.
'The whole family is upset. My son was just 22-years-old and he died of liver failure. My head is wrecked at the moment, to be honest.'
Brian Anderson had spoken in the past of his hope that Gareth could turn things around and get back to full health, but his son's addiction proved fatal.
Gareth, from Northern Ireland – made headlines in August 2009 when, aged 19, he was refused a place on the liver transplant list because he had not been free of alcohol for six months.
At one stage his desire for drink was so great he left his bed in the Ulster Hospital and walked to the nearby Moat Inn to try and get a pint of beer. His father said the act had been a 'cry for help'.
Gareth, pictured in hospital in 2009, could not be considered for organ transplant because he was unable to remain alcohol-free for six months
Gareth recovered after being moved from the Ulster Hospital to the liver unit at King’s College Hospital in London, where the late Northern Ireland football star George Best underwent a controversial liver transplant.
While in London, a remorseful Gareth vowed to his family: 'I’ll never touch another drink for the rest of my life.
'This is terrifying, I just want to get better and go home.
'I don’t want to end my life this early. I’m going to keep on fighting and hope for the best.'
However, in January 2010 Gareth found himself back in intensive care at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, for treatment when his kidneys failed.
Gareth appeared to be turning his life around and worked at this father’s pet shop in Newtownards, but within six months, he was back drinking alcohol and even attempted to take his own life.
He ended up in a Young Offenders Centre, charged with beating up and threatening to kill his mother Vivienne, attacking his brother Lawrence, and for possessing drugs.
He was in and out of court during 2011 on different charges, including assaulting a police officer – for which he was imprisoned for three months.
After getting out of jail he was back binge drinking and died two weeks ago surrounded by family.
For support and more information about alcohol abuse visit www.alcoholconcern.org.uk or phone 0800 9178282