Popular Sheffield artist pays emotional tribute to organ donor after life-saving liver transplant

Pete McKee says he is recovering following Sunday's operation - source Pete McKee Facebook
Pete McKee says he is recovering following Sunday's operation - source Pete McKee Facebook
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A popular Sheffield artist has paid an emotional tribute to an organ donor following a life-saving operation.

Pete McKee, a well-known painter and cartoonist from Sheffield, was diagnosed with end stage liver disease two years ago.

Shefield artist Pete McKee at his exhibiton 6 weeks to Eternity at Magna Science Centre - picture Dean Atkins

Shefield artist Pete McKee at his exhibiton 6 weeks to Eternity at Magna Science Centre - picture Dean Atkins

The condition, more commonly known as cirrhosis, deteriorated to the point where the 51-year-old had to be put on the transplant list.

McKee took to Facebook at 2am on Sunday to inform his fans he was on his way to Leeds Liver Transplant Unit after being told an organ transplant may be possible.

The artist is now recovering in hospital and paid an emotional tribute to his organ donor and their family on Facebook following his life-saving procedure.

He said: "I would like to thank the Doctors and nurses in Sheffield, Leeds and my local practice for doing an utterly fantastic job treating and caring for me.

"The NHS and those who work for it should never be taken for granted.

"But I have to reserve a special thanks to the donor and their family and to all those who choose to be on the donor register for making the life giving decision to donate their organs to very grateful recipients."

McKee, a cartoonist for the Sheffield Telegraph's sports section, has been responsible for a number of popular larger than life street-art projects including 'The Snog' on Broad Lane.

Football features heavily in the artist's work but he has also worked with Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and fashion designer Sir Paul Smith.

McKee said his diagnoses was caused by a rare genetic condition and sparked a "massive change" in his lifestyle and perspective, including giving up drinking and a number of diet changes.

Thousands of McKee's fans have replied to McKee's Facebook post, wishing the artist a speedy recovery and praising the donor and his their family.