23-year-old is recovering from his SIXTH liver transplant and will finally start university


A 23-year-old man who has had six liver transplants because of a rare condition will start university later this year after battling the odds to lead a normal life.Steven Featley, from Stoke Ash in Suffolk, was born with biliary atresia, a rare disease in which one or more of the liver’s bile ducts are narrow, blocked or missing.He was diagnosed just six weeks after he was born and had his first liver transplant when he was 14 months old, and the most recent one in November last year.Mr Featley has had 15 operations during his life, including the removal of his spleen, and had post-traumatic stress disorder because of his ordeal.But now, he says, he is looking forward to ‘getting out into the world again’ and feels ‘incredibly lucky to be here’.Famous liver surgeon Professor Nigel Heaton – who operated on footballer George Best – has carried out all six of Mr Featley’s transplants.Mr Featley will begin his journey towards becoming an accountant at the University of Suffolk in September, after recovering from his latest transplant last November.It is unknown whether this transplant will be Mr Featley’s last – only time will tell if it will develop complications as his previous operations have done.However, people who have had transplants require lifelong check-ups to monitor their condition and medication to stop the body rejecting the new liver.Mr Featley said: ‘I was supposed to start [university] two years ago but ill health prevented me. I needed my sixth liver transplant in November, from which I am still recovering.