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A Healthy Bullseye: No Longer Living Inexcess

Monday, December 8th, 2008 A Healthy Bullseye: No Longer Living Inexcess

Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham was a man hitting all the wrong numbers according to Jane Elliot of the BBC (05 12 08). The professional darts player lived his life to excess. Aged 46, he weighed in at a heavy 31 stone, he drank inexcess of 23 bottles of lager on a daily basis, ate at least seven takeaway meals per week. His liver was at destruction point.

However, last year he collapsed at a tournament. The advice from the doctors was to change his life around completely or he would face the inevitable consequences of death.

Subsequently, Fordham took the challenge head on. He has stopped drinking and has lost a massive 17stone. Such is his recovery doctors have now removed him from the emergency liver transplant list. This is no mean achievement from Andy. Such efforts require much effort and determination in the quest towards changing one’s lifestyle.

The Viking says that the doctors gave him a terrible wake-up call. “They told me if I carried on drinking I would be dead within 10 years, which is kind of hard to take in,” he said.

“I was really surprised when they said I had a liver problem it is just one of those things you don’t think will happen to you. It is always someone else.”

For Andy, drinking startes when he was aged 13. The problem escalated but because he was a keen footballer, he was able to keep control of his weight.

The national charity for liver patients, the British Liver Trust, has hailed Andy’s achievement as an inspiration to people committed to improving their health. Chief Executive Alison Rogers said:

“Andy’s achievement is an inspiration. It shows that you can change your health through your own personal action. It takes a huge commitment to make lifestyle measures that can have a sustained impact on your health and can be incredibly difficult.”

Leading liver physician Professor Roger Williams CBE who looked after George Best commented: “I have seen just how hard it is, even for people in the public eye, to turn around their liver disease and access treatment for alcohol problems. I am delighted that Andy Fordham is sharing his experience to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking and the progressive damage alcohol is inflicting on the nation’s livers.”

Alison Rogers continued: “Having a liver transplant is a very serious operation and results in a lifetime need for medical care and anti-rejection drugs. For this reason, as well as the severe shortage of donor organs, it is excellent if people can rescue their health to the extent that they don’t need a transplant.”

Andy is an excellent role model, managing to change from being an overweight heavy drinker who risked his health, to someone rescued from the brink of disability and death by his own determination to take positive action.

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