A TRANSPLANT patient who faced an anxious battle for life after his body rejected his new lungs is on the mend.

Mark Allen, of Weates Close, Widnes, was told his body was fighting the organs after undergoing a life-saving double lung transplant 16 months ago.

But following a series of promising tests at a transplant centre in Newcastle, the Halton Council press officer was told the deterioration had begun to subside.

He said: "It is the best thing that could have happened really. The lungs are down to operating at about 27 per cent, and won't recover what they have lost, but they do seem to have stabilised.

"I've been told that my body will make better use of the lung capacity I have left so that's good news.

"Who knows when it will start going down again so its time to take advantage of the present."

The 35-year-old, who also suffers from cystic fibrosis, endured more than 30 operations in the lead up to the transplant after being struck down by pneumonia in South Korea.

But things took a turn for the worst in January - just weeks after he moved to Halton from the Midlands.

"Some days I can still barely manage a flight of stairs, but other days I am able to walk around town with little problems," he said.

Mark, who moved to Widnes after spending years travelling the globe, became a cult figure in his hometown of Cannock after spending five-days living in a glasshouse in Cannock town centre in a Big Brother-style competition.

He added: "I am a fighter and have a history of proving doctors wrong.

"After all the countries I have lived in and all I have done with my life, I will be doing my level best to have a future ahead of me - whatever that takes."

You can keep up to date with Mark's progress by visiting transplantwait.blogspot.com.