Lives large after liver transplant

Peter Chwal and surgeon Professor Luc Delriviere ride down a corridor at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Picture: Marcus Whisson d408507
Peter Chwal and surgeon Professor Luc Delriviere ride down a corridor at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Picture: Marcus Whisson d408507

Despite their unconventional meeting last year, Mr Chwal (40) and associate professor Luc Delriviere bonded over a passion for fitness and mountain bike riding.

They will join more than 125 riders at the hospital’s annual Bike to Work Breakfast on October 16.

After filling up on a free hot and continental breakfast, the pair will share their story of the transplant that turned Mr Chwal’s life around.

‘The first time I met Luc I remember he was explaining to me the transplant process, and I looked at him and thought: ‘I don’t know what you’re saying, I’m so tired and really just scared if you put me under I won’t wake up’,’ he said.

‘Before my surgery I was a lot skinnier, had lost a lot of muscle mass and felt completely drained of energy.

‘It used to be really hard to motivate myself to get out there and exercise, but now it’s a case of: if I can physically do it, then I’m going to do it. There is definitely an element of making up for lost time and it is really nice to give back to the hospital that has helped me.’

Dr Delriviere said it was beautiful to see his patient so healthy.

‘I think it is always a good thing when the patient is fitter than the physician,’ the Swanbourne resident said.

‘I have maintained close relationships with many of my patients over the years. I still receive cards from people I transplanted more than 20 years ago and it is always so rewarding to see how far they have come.’