Post number 3. (the biggest news so far) Don't forget to check back to read 1 &2 written earlier today.
Last Tuesday was a normal day, the next day would be my little nephews birthday but he had been ill so I was trying to decide whether I could chance visiting him. As I've said numerous times before, I have to be extremely careful about catching any viruses etc because A) they can make me incredibly ill because of my current state of health and B) because if I get a call for transplant and I am too unwell then the operation can't go ahead. I don't meet up with people who are ill but it's always harder when it's one of the children, especially on a special occasion like a birthday. I get so upset as I am essentially missing out on their childhoods and milestones. However I begrudgingly decided that it would be stupid to go over and invite trouble, so mum and dad went over to see him and drop in his presents while I stayed at home.
Around 8pm I was sitting watching tv when the phone rang, I ignored it as I tend not to answer the house phone as I get very breathy talking to people. It stopped. Immediately my mobile started to ring with an unknown number. I answered it and my heart stopped short, the familiar voice of my transplant co-ordinator rang out, I was having a call. At this point my mind was racing ahead of me, i was having a call, mum and dad weren't here, were they really phoning me? I managed to calm down enough to focus a bit and listen to what she was saying. My co-ordinator told me that they felt it was worth bringing me in as they had a potential donor for me. The donor was a non-heart beating donor which is slightly more unusual, basically the donor patient was injured in an ITU somewhere in the country attached to a life support system. Extensive tests had shown they would never recover and the family would be withdrawing life support later that night. At this point I started sobbing on the phone, to imagine that devastated, heart broken family having to make that choice and in the midst of all their grief to be amazing enough to want to give others a chance at life by saying yes to donation was more than I could take, (it still is, I am sobbing as I write this).
After a few more minutes we finished call and I phoned mum to get them home immediately. I then started to get ready to go, while in tears and ended up in a breathless mess on the bedroom floor. I did as much as I good but was so hot and breathy by this point that I just sat and waited for them to come home. It just seemed so unreal, I had given up much hope of a call and here one was. I had been tweeting and campaigning all day about Tor's Christmas wish and now I was getting my wish!!! It was even more spooky, my nephews birthday (the next day) was also the day I collapsed 4 years ago and where my journey to transplant essentially began. It was too ironic, too perfect. This could actually be the Christmas present I had waited nearly 4 years for.
45 minutes later we were all on our way up to Harefield my transplant hospital. As we drove my thoughts kept returning to that incredible family somewhere in the country and I prayed that they would have strength and peace through the ordeal to come. They were never far from any of our minds.
When we arrived at the hospital I did the routine bits and pieces, form filling, canula and bloods taken. Then we waited. My co-ordinator had changed by that time but she was also just as nice and just as helpful. She explained that because of the situation with my donor the routine may be fairly slow while we waited for news from the other hospital. It seemed less and less real, less and less as though this call was really happening. It had happened so suddenly with differences from other calls we had had. To me and mum it seemed very surreal this time.
Finally at around 1am my co-ordiantor came in. The donor lungs were too damaged to be used. Waht had appeared ok on preliminary examinations were discovered to be too badly damaged on closer examination. My tissue typing also showed me and the donor weren't a good tissue match. We came home and arrived back by 2.30am.
I was gutted obviously, not quite as badly hit as usual for some reason which I'm thankful for. Very tired and recovering now. I have no cause to complain however, that special family went through hell that night but still ahd the empathy and kindness to want to help others. Someone has presents and a place at a Christmas table that won't ever be filled again. I can't express my utter sadness, and admiration of those completely selfless people. I am in awe of them. I ask you to join me in saying a prayer for them this Christmas, they and the other 3 families who gave me the chance during these last few years will certainly be remembered by us this year.
I doubt I will get chance to post again before Christmas so I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who sends me messages and reads my blog. You mean the world to me and I am so grateful for your support. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy, happy 2011.