Tragic Gary Reinbach dead at 22

A 22-YEAR-old alcoholic from Dagenham died on Sunday (July 19) after being denied a life saving liver transplant. Gary Reinbach, of Ibscott Close, began binge-drinking at the age of 13 and developed one of the worst cases of cirrhosis doctors had ever se

A 22-YEAR-old alcoholic from Dagenham died on Sunday (July 19) after being denied a life saving liver transplant.

Gary Reinbach, of Ibscott Close, began binge-drinking at the age of 13 and developed one of the worst cases of cirrhosis doctors had ever seen.

Ten weeks ago he was admitted to University College Hospital in central London, where he was told he was too unwell to go home and given just weeks to live.

Doctors predicted he would have a 75 per cent chance of survival if given a liver transplant.


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But health chiefs said Gary did not comply with the strict transplant criteria, which requires a drying out spell of sixth months before organs are donated.

He died in a critical care unit at 5pm on Sunday July 19.

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On Monday his mother, Madeleine Hanshaw, spoke of her anger at the decision which may cost his life.

The 44-year-old told a national newspaper: "He was in a wheelchair for the past two months, he couldn't eat, he couldn't talk.

"How could he have discharged himself to show that he could stay off the drink?

"These rules are really unfair. I'm not saying you should give a transplant to someone who is in and out of hospital all the time and keeps damaging themselves, but just for people like Gary, who made a mistake and never got a second chance.

"It never occurred to him what would have happened.

"He was just a sweet, normal boy with a heart of gold, who never hurt anyone. And now he's gone."

Ms Hanshaw said her son was desperate to recover after being admitted to hospital and did everything the doctors asked of him.

Gary lived with Ms Hanshaw, a kitchen assistant and his two brothers, Luke 18, and Tyler 16.

He reportedly started drinking at the age of 11, after his parents split up, and is said to have spent most of his time during the last few years drinking beer, whiskey and vodka with friends.

An Alcohol Concern spokeswoman said: "This case doesn't surprise us at all, sadly.

"Statistics show that more people are getting liver disease in their 30s and if more teenagers are drinking people will become seriously ill at a younger age."

The campaign group has called for more research in the way alcohol can affect teenagers' health.

Gary's death is expected to re-ignite the debate about the rules surrounding organ transplants.

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