It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole year since the day I was given my life back. This exact time last year I was waiting to go down to theatre to get the liver transplant I needed to carry on living. It feels like only yesterday.
There are so many things I could write about how I am feeling today and how I have been feeling leading up to it but it is so difficult. A lot of people wont understand why the anniversary of my liver transplant is a big deal, I think it seems a bit irrelevant to some people but it is such a big day for me for so many reasons. It’s a day that brings a mixture of emotions, just like the day of my transplant did. A lot of the emotions I felt on that day have resurfaced today but there are also new ones that have come with it too. I always tell people that I could never explain exactly how I felt on the day of my transplant, my head was full to the brim of different emotions and that is also the case today. Being the recipient of an organ transplant is a completely unique experience that cannot be compared to anything else. I spent fifteen months waiting for a call to come that would ultimately save my life and the whole time I waited with the knowledge that the call I was waiting for would also mean that somebody else’s life was ending and that a family somewhere had lost someone they loved. When I got the call that knowledge became a reality. It was the first thing to hit me and was the most prominent thought in my mind right up until I went into theatre. That is now the reality I live with everyday and it is the reason I do not take a single day for granted.
I know that this past year has only been possible because a family somewhere made the most courageous and brave decision during the most horrific time, I owe every day to that family and my donor and I hope they would be comforted knowing how much my life has changed since October 1st 2014.
I have had such a wonderful year doing things that just weren’t possible for me before, I am living life to the full and doing everything a 26 year old woman should be doing which was definitely not the case before my transplant. I was able to start a new job in February, just four months after my transplant. That has enabled me to save up to hopefully move out of my parents house soon with my boyfriend. I am learning to drive, I have been on holidays and currently planning many more which was completely impossible in the past. I have been able to make plans knowing that there is a very small chance I would have to cancel them because I’m unwell which means I am making so many more precious memories with my family and friends! One of the biggest things that my transplant has enabled me to do is dance again. I have slowly built my fitness and my confidence up over the past few months and I am now part of a really exciting dance project! I spent two and a half years not being able to do anything dance related at all because of my health and to be honest I completely shut myself away from anything to do with it because I felt so far away from that side of myself, so to be able to do something I am so passionate about and have spent so much time training in is absolutely incredible!
Of course I still have bad days like any human being and I still struggle with a few health issues which sometimes gets me down but whenever I do have a bad day or start feeling a bit sorry for myself I am instantly kicked up the backside by the realisation of why I am still here. I don’t know what my life would be like now if I didn’t get my transplant on that day, I don’t know if I’d have been so lucky. The fact is I am lucky to even have the chance of having a bad day like a normal human, it means I am still alive and that is everything.
Every day over the past year and every opportunity I have had is thanks to my donor and the family that agreed to donate. Whilst my family and I are celebrating the life I have been given today, another family somewhere else are mourning their loss and spending another day without one of the people they love. I think of them every single day, I always will because they are the reason I am living. Today is so difficult knowing how much pain they must be going through but all I can hope for is that my donor would be proud of the life I am living because of him and that his family would be comforted knowing that although he is gone, he is still doing so much good in this world.
I’m spending the day with my family today, making the most of our time together and keeping my donor and his family in our thoughts.
Today and everyday, I am beyond grateful.
Here are a few of my favourite memories from this year, all thanks to my donor.