Getting a liver transplant saved my life
A rare liver disease meant I was given just five years to live and placed on the NZ transplant waiting list - six months later, I received my gift, my second chance at life.
Four months on, I am as healthy as ever and not a day goes by when I don't think of my donor. People need to become donors - mine saved my life.
No-one told me that waiting for a transplant is the hardest part.
It takes a toll on you emotionally, physically and mentally.
* Organ donation - the gift of a lifetime
* Only 61 organ donors in New Zealand in 2016
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* Organ donation: Start the conversation
Here are the other things no-one told me:
* The phone will be your worst enemy and best friend. Every time the phone rings, your heart will stop for a few seconds. You will run to to answer it like you have never run before, desperately hoping it’s a call for a transplant. Every time it’s not, your heart will sink.
* You will try your best to stay the healthiest you can, but most likely you will get worse before getting better.
* In the beginning, you will try to keep up with your regular life, whether it’s going to school or work or keeping up with the kids. But those things will get harder and so will daily tasks.
* There are times when you won’t want to deal with anything or anybody: doctors, tests, people. You’ll just want to be left alone. Hope and faith is what will get you through. Hope and faith are your best friends for the times when you feel like the call for a transplant will never come or you just get sick of being sick. Hope and faith will get you through the rough days.
* Waiting for a transplant is the most humbling thing you will ever do. You start to become grateful for everyday things you’re able to do.
* Good days are the days when you are able to get up and go about your daily tasks, and bad days are the days when you can barely get out of bed. It takes a toll on you mentally. Being sick and seeing others around you doing things you wish you could do is hard. You need support through this journey. You need people who will listen to you, who you can vent to or who will just be there for you.
* When you do get the call for a transplant, it probably won’t be the way you expected or imagined it. At that moment, your world will be turned upside down. You will experience many emotions, and everything will happen fast.
* Make sure to take time to take a deep breath. Getting a transplant will mark a whole new journey; it will change your life. This is just the beginning, and it will get better.
* After getting a transplant, your life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. This is the end of a hard journey and a start of a new chapter; if you’d like to follow my next steps, you can do so through my Facebook page, This is how I liver.
- Stuff Nation