Yesterday, we made the familiar trip to the hospital where my husband had his liver transplant….this time, it was for a more social occasion – the Liver Transplant Unit Christmas breakup.
For two hours…which usually ends up being closer to three…we get to meet up with other transplant recipients and their families, as well as some of the staff who work with the unit.
This is our third Christmas break-up and usually the room is packed, but sadly, there wasn’t as many as there usually is…….guess people are just too busy at this time of year, or they have moved on.
But we still had a great time, catching up with people we haven’t seen for ages…in particular we love to meet up with those we first met pre-transplant in workshops, when they, like my husband, were on the waiting list and looking so sick.
Looking around the room, you wouldn’t be able to tell who had had liver transplants, and I still find that incredible…without having received a new liver, many in the room would not be alive and well today.
One guy we met had his transplant 23 years ago…and is now a grandfather, loving life and is still doing well.
And there was a newbie…a young mum who had her transplant just three weeks ago, and is heading back home to her family in Tasmania tomorrow.
We heard that they are now up to transplant number 950…with 71 transplants for this year for VIC/TAS, which is more then previous years!
It is like being part of a community…an exclusive club…not one you would not normally aspire to being a part of, but if you are suffering from liver disease, requiring a transplant, then believe me, this is the best community to belong to!
After the function finished, a group of us, which included 5 liver transplant recipients,went up to the ward where liver patients are looked after.
It was rather weird walking through the corridors, seeing staff who looked after my husband both before and after his transplant….we have only visited once since I took my husband home after his transplant in 2012.
We did a loop around the ward for old times sake, but seeing the current patients looking so yellow…and so sick…brought home just how lucky we are…this was Jas just after his transplant…
Now we are looking forward to the third Christmas after transplant, and he has a whole new lease on life….there is no stopping him!
And this medical miracle wouldn’t have been possible without the fabulous staff at the unit, and the generosity of the donor family…we think of them especially at this time, missing their loved one.
We will also be thinking of those who are stuck on the waiting list, like we were…not knowing whether they will ever receive that much wanted call from the hospital.
We hope to see them all on the “flip side”…ie post transplant…very soon!
To read more about organ donation in Australia, please click here to visit the DonateLife website.
If you have any questions about living with liver disease or having a liver transplant, please don’t hesitate to contact me!