Liver transplant gives runner new engine for Bath Half Marathon test
There was a time when teacher Miles Harris never thought he would see his baby son being born. But thanks to a liver transplant, he now feels "incredibly alive".
And to mark the first anniversary of the operation, he is running the Bath Half Marathon to raise money for the hospital that helped him.
Mr Harris, 35, who teaches at Norton Hill School, Midsomer Norton, was diagnosed with severe liver failure while his wife Marina was heavily pregnant.
Just 18 days after the diagnosis, Mr Harris and his 28-year-old wife received a call in the middle of the night to tell them an organ was available, and were whisked off to Birmingham for the transplant.
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At the time Mrs Harris was seven months pregnant with their first child.
After a three-month recovery period, Mr Harris was back at work, and is now training for his first half-marathon.
He said: "When I came round after the operation I just felt as if I had a brand new engine put inside me and immediately my symptoms of liver failure just drained away.
"The incredibly selfless decision of my donor's family, together with my wonderful medical team in Bath and Birmingham are the only reason I am still here today and in such good shape."
Despite his lack of running experience, Mr Harris said he is determined to beat two hours in the March 3 race.
He is supporting the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and is also hoping to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Mr Harris said: "I feel a responsibility to let people know what is possible following an organ transplant.
"It offers a complete transformation – when I got home I didn't want to go to bed, I just felt so incredibly alive.
"Having lost 12kg of weight when I was ill, I had a lot of strength and stamina to rebuild.
"I started light jogging a month after the operation, but progress was slow until about October where suddenly I really noticed my strength and stamina improving."
Mr Harris, who lives in Odd Down, Bath, had been diagnosed with the condition primary sclerosing cholangitis two-and-a-half years ago.
The disease affects the ducts in the liver, causing tubes to become clogged, and he was put on antibiotics to manage the condition.
However, the toxins poisoned his blood, and in March, he was diagnosed with severe liver failure.