South Shields liver transplant dad told he won’t need operation

Luke Wilkinson with wife Di who flew back to the UK after Luke collpased on holiday.

Luke Wilkinson with wife Di who flew back to the UK after Luke collpased on holiday.

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A man from South Tyneside who was flown home from Singapore after he collapsed on holiday has been told he will not need a liver transplant.

Luke Wilkinson, 37, was on a break with his family when he was rushed to hospital and told a liver donor was needed for a life-saving transplant.

Di and Luke Wilkinson with children Jude and Finn who flew back to the  UK for Luke's treatment.

Di and Luke Wilkinson with children Jude and Finn who flew back to the UK for Luke's treatment.

Last weekend the engineering consultant, who is from Marsden, South Shields, but currently lives abroad, was flown to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle - expecting to undergo the operation.

But doctors at the hospital have said the father of two does not need a transplant.

Professor Derek Manas, who is the Consultant Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgeon at the Freeman, confirmed that Mr Wilkinson would not need a liver transplant at the moment.

The surgeon said Mr Wilkinson was suffering from a pre-existing medical condition which left him open to infections and a virus had caused the liver problems.

The family were on holiday in Singapore when Luke collapsed.

The family were on holiday in Singapore when Luke collapsed.

The surgeon, who has been at the hospital for 25 years, told the Gazette that Mr Wilkinson is improving and he hopes he will be home in three weeks.

He said: “He doesn’t need a liver transplant and he has never needed one.

“He was admitted to hospital in Singapore on what they thought was liver failure, but actually his liver function was deteriorating as a result of infections.

“He is on antibiotics to support that and he is now stable.

“His liver function is showing signs of improving, so he is not in need of a transplant.

“He is getting better.”

A spokesman from the transplant team confirmed that the family had been made aware that no transplant is required at this time.

The family were unavailable for comment but on Facebook his wife Di, 34, has been updating family and friends with his progress.

In a public post yesterday, she said: “We are still in the Freeman Hospital and as we have been to different countries, there are a lot of tests to do to find out if there are any other possible causes for Luke’s illness.

“He is not conscious at the moment, but he is comfortable and continues to receive the best care from all of the amazing staff here.

“I truly believe that being super fit and really strong had given him the best fighting chance.

“Your thoughts and support continue to spur us on and I know we will get through this.”

SIDEBAR: The journey home

Father of two Luke Wilkinson collapsed while on holiday with his family in Singapore last Sunday and his family believed he needed an urgent liver transplant in the UK.

An expat, Luke moved to Kuala Lumpur, with wife Di and two children, to work as an engineering consultant for an oil and gas company about two years ago, but became ill five months ago.

Originally from Marsden, South Shields, Mr Wilkinson is klnown to have contracted several tropical infections while working abroad, and was on medication.

What was supposed to be a relaxing break at the Siloso Beach Resort in Singapore to recover, ended with him collapsing and being diagnosed with liver failure as a result of the medication he was receiving.

Friends back in his home town launched an urgent appeal to raise £50,000 to bring him to the UK for a life-saving transplant, but an insurance company eventually for a flight home,

Speaking to the Gazette last week Di said funds raised would go towards filghts home for the children and their grandparents as well as clothing and food once they got to the UK.

She said anything left over would go to the liver transplant unit at the Freeman Hospital.

The dad is now receiving treatment at hospital and doctors have said he does not need a transplant at this time.