Steve Prescott: Dying rugby league star had surgery to help save others

  • 14 September 2015
  • From the section Liverpool
Media captionSteve Prescott's widow, Linzi, reveals his bravery in allowing experimental surgery shortly before his death.

A terminally ill rugby player allowed doctors to carry out pioneering surgery on him shortly before his death in an attempt to help others, his widow said.

St Helens star Steve Prescott had five transplants during 32 hours of experimental operations three weeks before his death in November 2013.

His widow, Linzi, met Claire Place, from Colchester, whose life has been saved by similar surgery.

Mr Prescott died aged 39 from a rare form of abdominal cancer.

He played for St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield, as well as both England and Ireland.

His career ended in 2004 through injury and he was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei in 2006.

Despite being given only months to live, he battled the disease and was made an MBE for his charity work.

'Helping other people'

Linzi Prescott told BBC North West Tonight: "It's amazing to meet Claire finally - when it's something so rare it makes you feel quite close to them.

"After diagnosis Steve changed as a person and it moulded the person he became. He turned his sights to helping other people

"He went through what he went through for somebody else and not for nothing, really."

Image caption Claire Place had a similar transplant operation pioneered by Steve Prescott

His pancreas, duodenum, small bowel, stomach and stomach wall were transplanted at Oxford's Churchill Hospital as part of the lengthy experimental operation.

Claire Place was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma eight years ago and underwent a similar multi-organ transplant when traditional treatment started to fail.

She said: "I feel great, it's amazing. It's nice to be able to eat and drink again. Even things like walking the dog is easy again now."

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