An Aghagallon man whose promising career as a professional footballer was cut short due to a serious liver disease is hosting a St Valentine’s charity night to raise funds for the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Sean Lavery’s health first started to decline after a car accident in 2003 and he subsequently received live-saving treatment to remove a cyst from his liver. However scar tissue had formed and his liver declined over a number of years.
However Sean has had a new lease of life after receiving a liver transplant and wants to repay the kindness of the RVH Liver Support Group who helped him through a lot. And his charity night at the Seagoe Hotel on St Valentine’s Day (February 14) is already selling out.
The four-course meal will be followed by a hypnotist comedy show with Adrian Knight and a disco.
Starting at 7pm the evening also includes a grand prize draw.
A former pupil at St Michael’s Grammar School, Sean went to Leeds United aged just 16 with dreams of premiership stardom. However, following the accident, he returned home and played for Glenavon and St Mary’s Aghgallon. In 2004 he became unwell and though he returned to football after a cyst was removed from his liver, he was to develop more serious symptoms such as sickness, a yellow tint in his eye and abnormal blood tests.
Aged just 22 the fit and active footballer saw his body declining and in 2008 he was diagnosed with liver sclerosis and started to lose a lot of weight.
“At that stage I was really bad,” said Sean who was sent to King’s Cross Hospital in London to a specialist unit where he was put on a transplant list in July last year.
Sean, who is now 30, said he will never forget the support he received during his illness and wants to raise as much cash as possible for the group and raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.