This week is National Transplant Week.
It's hard to know the words to say to encourage you to sign the donor register. It is unbelievable to me that I am nearly 4 years on from my transplant now. While I will never forget that time of utter despair and health so poor that it is a miracle for me to think I actually survived it, the rawness and edge has of course dulled slightly with time. How to explain to you the desperation you feel waiting for someone to save your life? The importance of signing up?
Here is a blog extract looking back to the day I got my call for transplant.
"The day before my call was the anniversary of waiting 4 years and 3 months;I had finally started to believe that the call might not come in time. I was getting worse and there just didn’t seem an end in sight. I went to bed wondering how many more days I would miss out on, how many birthdays and Christmases would be “making do” and how long I could actually keep fighting for. As it turns out hope was just around the corner.
I woke up on October 10th 2011 to the sound of the phone ringing, not knowing it would be the day that would change my life forever. My mum came and told me to pick up the phone, she was excited and I instantly knew it was a call. While I spoke to my co-ordinator my mum got on the mobile to my dad who had already set off for work. My co-ordinator told me that they had potential lungs for me and that they had already proved to be a good tissue match, so that was one hurdle overcome. Dad arrived back home and we rushed about getting my medications together and trying to get ready despite severe breathlessness. I was very calm this time, although it felt surreal as all my other calls had been in the evening or middle of the night.
We arrived at the hospital around 10am and underwent the usual tests, then settled in for the long wait. My co-ordinator came and saw me, she said that we should have some news by 12. But 12 o’clock came and went, we were updated that checks on the donor lungs were taking a while so it would be a little longer. By this time I was absolutely certain that this would be false alarm number 9 and the pain of that disappointment was weighing hard on me. By this time it was about 3.30, I was tired, emotional and thoroughly worn out. My co-ordinator came back and I waited for the words that we would be on our way home, I was utterly shocked when she asked me “what was I doing this afternoon?!”. After 4 years and 3 excruciating months my time had finally come. I had a big beaming smile and we joked about going down for an afternoon in theatre with a masked man (phantom always sneaks in somewhere!).
I silently thanked god for that wonderful, brave person who had saved my life and set me free."
And that's the best I can offer as reason to sign up. The fact that I am only alive today because of my brave, selfless donor and their family. That I still thank god for them every day. That I have known so many wonderful, inspiring, beautiful souls who have been saved by organ donation; but sadly know far far more who's call never came and were lost to us. People who deserved a chance.
One donor can save 9 lives and transform many more. Please think for just a minute, if you or someone you loved were the one relying on that call, on someone else to save your life, to be saved from your pain and suffering, would you want someone to have donated? If yes then please do the same for others.
think about it, talk about it, do it. Someone is counting on you.