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22-year-old alcoholic dies of liver failure
William Cherry/Press eye 22-year-old alcoholic dies of liver failure

A 22-year-old man has died of liver failure after years of chronic alcohol abuse.

Gareth Anderson became one of Britain's youngest victims of alcohol abuse when he died in a Belfast hospital while surrounded by his family two weeks ago.

Gareth was refused a liver at the age of 19 because he was unable to give up drinking – three years later his addiction has now claimed his life.

Gareth's father told The Daily Mail the family is struggling to come to terms with his premature death.

"We're devastated, really and truthfully," former police officer Brian Anderson said.

"The whole family is upset. My son was just 22-years-old and he died of liver failure. My head is wrecked at the moment, to be honest."

Gareth had fought a long battle with alcoholism.

In 2009 he was refused a liver transplant because he hadn't been alcohol free for six months.

At one stage he even got out of his hospital bed to walk to a local pub for a pint.

Gareth tried several times to give up alcohol, vowing to his family that he'd never drink again.

But in 2010 he found himself back in hospital suffering from kidney failure.

After a six month dry spell Gareth took up drinking again, but was jailed later for assault and drug possession, at one stage he attempted to take his own life.

Brian Anderson says the suicide attempt and violent behavior had been cries for help, but his son’s efforts to turn his life around were futile.

After leaving jail, Gareth returned to heavy binge drinking. He died in a Belfast hospital two weeks ago.