My 1 Year liver transplant anniversary was on March 14th, 2018 and even though this past year has been up and down, it has been made possible due to the amazing act of selflessness by my organ donor and the NHS.
Would I have thought it possible that I would be celebrating my liver transplant anniversary? Not really. It all seems very surreal.
First of all, when you are diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, that is hard enough to come to terms with, let alone to think about anything else. Then, you put so much effort into fighting each day that new livers and transplants do not come into it.
Can we fight forever? From my experience, I thought I could continue fighting forever as fighting had become second nature to me. You cannot think of life without fighting the illness as you are so wrapped up in the moment and to a degree, nothing else matters.
However, when you look back at the time you have spent fighting each day, you start to build up a bigger picture that throughout that journey you were not alone and the strength that really gets you through comes from those closest to you.
I can never imagine how this illness has really impacted on the lives of my children and wife but, throughout the journey they kept me smiling and most importantly, the little things that mean the world to you such as coming to hospital appointments, getting the medication, putting up with mood swings, lack of energy, my wife was there. I know I am lucky to have this support and at times, you look back and think… Did we really come out of this in one piece?
It takes a strong person to fight primary sclerosing cholangitis but, I truly believe that it takes a stronger person to stand by you and help you to continue with the daily struggle.
My 1 Year liver transplant anniversary was a time for reflection. On the one hand I was happy to still be here and feel so well but, on the other hand, you cannot help thinking about how the donor family must be feeling right now. Then there are the years missed living my life with my family. It is a very emotional time.
What have I learnt over the past year? Well, organ donation is truly the gift of life that is one of the best gifts I have, and will ever receive. Also, I have been given a second chance and have time to make up for.
It is now time to enjoy each day and treasure those closest to me more than ever.
Without our health, we have nothing and I certainly know that there’s nothing here to run from when you have someone to lean on.
Thank you to my family for helping me stay strong, my organ donor for allowing me to continue my life and giving me a second chance and, of course the NHS for making it all happen. You have all helped me to be able to do something I never thought possible. Celebrate my liver transplant anniversary.
Thanks for reading.
Peace, Love and Light. x