Love Your Liver - Wrexham: Last Tuesday... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Love Your Liver - Wrexham

Last Tuesday, I had a wonderful day out at my old stomping ground of Wrexham.

Some of you may know that the British Liver Trust's, "Love Your Liver" roadshow shall be visiting the town on the 20th November. I went over there to promote the event, and to raise awareness. 12-years ago, having been thrown out of America, I found myself homeless and on the streets or Wrexham. This was a really hard time for me, but I was determined not to be beaten. After three months I had won through, I managed to get myself a flat, and landed a job.

When I went back last Tuesday, all dressed up, suited and booted. I was able to talk to some of the homeless people on the streets and offer encouragement, if I could do it so could they. I also spoke of liver disease, both alcohol-related and the dangers of contaminated blood through needles, and street tattoos.

As an ice breaker, I used to introduce myself, Hi my names Richard and 12-years ago, I was living on the streets here in Wrexham, and go on to explain about my need for a liver Transplant two years ago. I'd then explain that I never go anywhere without my spare liver. I'd then reach into my bag and pullout my squeezy liver. Much to a lot of amusement and questions, "Is that what a liver looks like?" or "It's never that size is it?". I would then talk about "Love Your Liver" and of the mobile fibroscan I'd say that all these questions and more will be answered on the 20th November.

It all made for a great day for me, and looking back over those twelve years, what a road I've been down. Here's hoping that the 20th November is a great success.

44 Replies

Good on you Richard!

Of course you know the question on everyone’s lips 😁!



in reply to

I can guess, why I was thrown out of America? It's a long story, but when your over there you have to follow immigration rules, and for the first three years you have to be sponsored. I took a gamble at the time and got married over there. Pam was a strange woman (American women can be rather strange). For the first three years she had to act as my sponsor.

I used to work in and metal foundry and milling machine factory making railcar components. It was hot sticky night-shift work. I used to come home in the mornings, sit out on the veranda have a beer and watching the sun come up. This would be considered normal over here, but she could never grasp that because I worked nights, her nights were my days, and that her days were my nights. She could never understand that me having a beer at 7:00am in the morning was right. Anyway, after being married for 30-months she with draw her sponsorship of me, and in that split second I became an illegal alien. I lost my job, my home, and my wife, all in the blink of an eye. I was put in jail for six weeks and deported. Yes, I actually got to wear those orange prison jump suits. It was certainly adventure, and I was 53 years old at the time. I landed at Heathrow (another story) made my way up to Wrexham as my sister lives there. She slammed the door on me and that was that. Life is never dull is it? lol

in reply to

Omg Richard that’s appalling! So BIG congrats to you for coming through all of that... What sort of sister does that - well I could say but I’d better not!

Thank you for telling us all of that, it sure as hell makes me think how lucky I’ve been in life, and realise I should never ever whinge!

All the best!



in reply to

England has it's problems but I bet you're happy you came home. Fine for holidays, its a big Country with loads of fabulous scenery but I couldn't live there 3 weeks was enough for me! Well done for turning your life around and hopefully inspiring others

GrandmaDylan profile image
GrandmaDylan in reply to

Wow Richard! You should write a book about your experiences. Seriously. Deb

Quickquestion profile image
Quickquestion in reply to

Grade 2-fatty-diagnosed-in-ultrasound-but-lft-blood-test-are-normal.-what-does-this-means ?

in reply to


Interesting and it sounds like you have lived a diverse and interesting life. Walking the dog today, enjoying nature and my thinking space, I found my thoughts turned to your strange marriage post.

For myself, I have had my share of odd hours, working in the graphic arts industry. When a night finally ended, it would be normal for me to enjoy a large cognac, the wife was employed by Remy

after all, might as well enjoy the benefits.

What my thinking turned to was the beer after a night working, to withdrawal of sponsorship, then prison. Even by America’s propensity for incarnation, this seems a little harsh.

This culminates into transplant, are there some bits missing? Apologies if this sounds intrusive but I am just being inquisitive.

in reply to

Many thanks for your post, my drinking days really started many years before my American adventure. I have posted my story up onto the BLT website:

So alcohol has always been there in my life. My father also died of Liver Cirrhosis, so I could have inherited the elusive, yet to be discovered alcohol gene. I'd like to think that I've lead a full life. Oh, I've made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I believe that that is all part and parcel of life. This is going to sound rather strange, but I kind of enjoyed my time in jail in America. At the time, there was a lot of different factions within the jail system. We were accommodated in supposedly 15-man pods. But due to over crowding, there would normally be about 22 guys to a pod. These could be broken up as blacks, whites, Mexican, Puerto Ricans, and native Americans. Everyone hated each other and at times the pod could become the most volatile place on earth. The Mexican's hated the Puerto Ricans, The Puerto Ricans hated the Indian's, the blacks hated the whites, and in the middle of all this anger, was one little English guy who got on well with everyone. I became the peace maker and earned a lot of respect. Jail life was all about accepting that you were in the system, and not try to fight it. Once again it was all a case of making do with what you had, and turn a negative into a positive.

There was a funny end to my adventure though. When I was being sent back to the UK I was escorted by two immigration officers from St Louis to Chicago and then on to London. These two guys thought they were something out of the Men in Black film. They both wore suits and dark sun glasses. When walking in the airport concourses I was made to wear handcuffs. Talk about over kill. When we arrived at Heathrow, I was escorted up to immigration where the two officers identified themselves, (still wearing dark glassed) and said that they were returning one of your citizens, and that they would be staying in London over the weekend. The Immigration officer flipped, "How dare you present one of her Britannic Majesty's citizens back to these shores in handcuffs". They were order to take them off and not allowed to enter the country. They had to return on the next available flight.

Your not at all being intrusive at all. As we go through our life we all gain experiences. Only by sharing with others can we try and enlighten them to the possible dangers that lie ahead.

Good Luck

Well done Richard. It's people like you that can make a big difference by putting time and energy into helping other people. I'm very glad that everything turned around for you. Power to your elbow!

I hope you feel very proud of yourself now. Just shows how you can take charge and turn life around. Well done you!

Well done Richard, I really admire you for getting back on your feet healthwise and in your personal life. I think it's great that you can show others who are struggling with alcohol and homelessness that things can change for the better.

Keep up the good work. Deb

Richard, that's a great story but all American women not so strange, you were in your wife native country so you should learn those rules or go back home, Lots of people in America consider drinking a beer at 7 am isn't something they like to see. Your wife sponsored you, therefore, she had every right to withdraw her sponsorship due to you not following the rules she set forth , so to say American women are strange isn't the right choice of words, because it seems your sister slam the door in your face too and she wasn't an American, have you ever thought maybe it was just something about you at that time. I know our new president (Trump) have our country looking like a foolish stupid place during these times but America has its problems just like every country but if it was so bad why do so many people try to come here for a better life.

Congrats! on turning your life around seems like you are now a wonderful person.

in reply to

Yes that was being unfair of me Sophia, l met some really nice people during my time over there. But differences in life styles can be a little daunting, but you come to accept and respect them even though you may not agree and understand them. I could never understand why having a beer after a hot sweaty shift on the back veranda was wrong. But for Pam to get up in the moring and smoke a joint was somehow acceptable.

It was never my intention to be rude or inflammatory in any way. And l appologise if the way my comments came across offended you.

Nice one Richard. Respect to you for the work you do for the British liver trust, and wearing your orange jump suit with pride!!

Bet your glad you’re not in trump land now!!!

No, didn't offend me but I am an American woman and have seen and traveled to many countries, and when you make a decision to move to their country, you should learn the way of life and learn the language, so many come to live off of our generosity,yes we are stupid in that way. Yes, Trump is bad for our country and he will be short-lived, all he has done is divided the races of people, Trump has the support of the uneducated white race which is considered his base. However, I do agree with his policy when it comes to all the people coming here to live off tax paying citizens, enough is enough, I know other countries see pictures of Mexicans and their kids trying to cross the border, well it's not like it looks, we have so many Hispanics in America,they have become the leading race in America, but as I said before, enough is enough and I am not a supporter of Trump.

Yes, Richard, u seem to have gotten your act together, thanks for the apology, very nice of you.

Truly you are awesome Richard, such big changes in your life and it shows your strength of character. You are such an inspiration. Good luck on the 20/11/18.

How interesting, may I also ask for detail on your own web-site please, I came across it a few weeks ago and it was so informative. Im at the early stages of the "liver journey" but found your info very informative indeed and want to learn more and more in order to beat this element of alcohol dependency into submission. Best wishes.

in reply to GANDONAS14

Many thanks for you kind words. My website can be found at:

I shall be updating it soon (when I get around to it). I need to keep the information fresh and up-to-date. One of my main concerns at the moment, is that there appears to be some conflicting news going on out there, and I feel I need to set the record straight. I spoke to my MP last Thursday, as she was spouting off about these latest set of figures.

This is about the amount of alcohol being consumed by young adults, between the ages of 16-21. Latest reports show a big drop in the amount of alcohol being drunk, and how students appear to be a lot more wiser when it comes to alcohol consumption. What this latest research doesn't show is the amount of young adults turning to local drugs such as Black Mamba, Spice and Monkey Dust. These drugs are in plentiful supply, there a lot cheaper than alcohol, and you don't have to worry about I.D. There's very little police around these days, so anything goes. The link between the drop in alcohol and the rise in drug use is never acknowledged.

If your still interested if all things Liver, I can strongly recommend doing two online courses. These are both FREE to do, and are very informative. They are run every three months or so. They both last for three weeks, and you just need to set aside one hour a week. I paid for my courses as I wanted to answer the extra set of questions at the end, and a copy of the certificate. These courses can be found at: and:

I hope this all helps, I think I mentioned on a previous post, that the human liver is a most wondrous organ which we all just take for granted and abuse. If I knew back then what I now know, I'd have treated mine with a lot more respect. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?

Good Luck.

GANDONAS14 profile image
GANDONAS14 in reply to

Many thanks, I will be posting my story soon, once I gain some hindsight, which hopefully wont be too late.

Well done you. x


Thanks for the reply and also read your story. It was my belief that you had to commit a ‘felon’ to be incarcerated and I am surprised your employer did not take on the sponsor role but there you go. Strange folk over there, the whole drinking in a bag thing amuses me.

On the story thing, my father ran a workshop-barracks in Germany, ran by heavy drinking poles, who could not return home. He is a Scot, who married a German, so I obtained my passport a few months ago. Anyway I believe in the alcohol gene theory, he got me drinking beer aged 10.

I started this journey in an alcohol/drug help charity. They wanted to get me into rehab, a liver function test would have been a better approach.

I am now trying to get into this area of work.

Again, apologies for my inquisitive nature, all part of drink free life.



in reply to

Strange people over there(lol), We only put others down so we can feel better about ourselves. hope you feeling good about yourself...TC

in reply to

I am feeling fine Sophia, as a European bit bemused by this Brexit business. Am I correct in thinking you are a little sensitive about differing views when it comes to things over the pond? I don’t think Trump helps and I thought his behaviour in Paris did your country no favours. I have relatives over there and as such, am are extremely grateful for our wonderful health system, they saved my life and I am enjoying being alive.

in reply to

Trump doesn't speak for all Americans, only the uneducated white man, and I can say that because I am a white female. If you read my previous post you would see I am not a Trump supporter but I do agree with him about people coming here for our health system and living off taxpayers. You have relatives here, mmmm...wonder why, so many come here but always talk about how great there country, if it so great, why come here. So glad you are feeling great I said most say negative things to make themselves feel better. THE END

in reply to

Ouch, I’ve been told. So what do trailer park trash, sorry I mean uneducated white males do when they need a transplant. Also note that my American relatives are not British and went over there to join their relatives, not your gold standard welfare system. All good stuff from a young country based on immigration, Trumpf is descended from Germany, not Sweden, as he once claimed. Glad I don’t have to go to Mexico for my prescriptions.

in reply to

Go do something productive...maybe look for a job. TC.

in reply to

Happy to live off my portfolio thanks, got bored working for an alternative American media company.

in reply to

LOL! (live off)...I knew it, smell it a mile away...go try to be productive, take those words out of your vocabulary. (live off)

in reply to

Thanks Sophia, I am pleased you have the answers. I will certainly follow your advice.

in reply to


Apologies but do you mind if I ask a couple of questions? Are you based over the pond or are you over here?

Also can I ask what is your liver condition and have they tested for porphyria?


Porphyriamaniac profile image
Porphyriamaniac in reply to

Are you talking to me or Sophia Mark?

in reply to Porphyriamaniac


Apologies for any confusion, the response was to Sophia.



Porphyriamaniac profile image
Porphyriamaniac in reply to

Yeah I see that now! 😆

in reply to Porphyriamaniac

Apologies again, clinic day, a long one with the travel. I am thee months post transplant on Sunday. With your nom de plume I take it you understand the reference?🤭

Porphyriamaniac profile image
Porphyriamaniac in reply to

I twigged after I wrote my reply 😂 All the best to you on your recovery. Stacie. X

in reply to

Just got home from a day of work, yes some of us actually work, and I see Snoutie you have nothing better to do but keep emailing me...GET A REAL JOB!

in reply to

Yes of course, does working for the Liver trust fulfill your stipulations?

in reply to

Oh and sorry to be such a bore Sophia but I worked right up to the day before my transplant, against medical advice. Self employed so no sick or holiday pay. I now have a note saying unfit for work. Happy that you are well enough to be productive, you never did share why you are on this forum.

in reply to

I am on this forum to give you something to do, apparently, you think you are being productive by emailing me.

in reply to

Sorry once again Sophia but apart from sneering at my illness, industry and self sufficiency (highly confusing that you can smell it, work hard, invest wisely and live off your own means, isn’t that the America dream???). You refuse to answer any questions regarding your liver condition. I understand that you live in Minnesota, why are you on a British web forum?

in reply to

Lol! I live in Minnesota, oh ok, as I said, I am here to give you something to do, that's why I am here on a British forum. See, if I wasn't here, you wouldn't have anything to do...(.just live off??????)

in reply to

OK in the absence of any answer I’ll take a guess at Munchausen by (web)


in reply to

You got it! it's all made up, couch potato

I'd like to pass my thanks for all your remarks and comments.

These are all very encouraging and make me feel very humbled. Only by passing on and sharing our own experiences can we all understand and help others. When I had my liver transplant in Oct 2016, I made a promise to myself that I would never feel any bitterness in my heart, or harbour any bad thoughts. For life was indeed far to short.

Whenever I see a person on the streets, I don't see a, "down and out" person. I see a person with a story. That poor man or woman lying under the railway arch in the damp and cold weather, may have served two tours in Afghanistan and now just wants to shut himself/her self away and forget. Most of these people are either damaged with mental scars or as I call them, just, "victims of circumstance".

I shall be trying to reach out to those on the streets this Christmas within my area. The driving force behind me, is my liver donor. I want their gift to mean something, and what better way than to try and reach out to others.

Many thanks to you all. xx

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