Today, we were honoured to be invited to speak to a group of theatre nurses who are going to be or have been part of a retrieval team for donor organs.
These nurses don’t get to see the whole organ donation story even though they are part of a very important process, so the seminar started with a donor family telling their story, and then various speakers guided the audience through each step of the organ and tissue donation process.
We were the last speakers for the day, and it was great to give a positive ending!
My husband spoke about his autoimmune condition, PSC, and how he ended up being on the waiting list for a new liver.
He outlined what it was like to wait 14 months for a donor organ….and what the actual Transplant Day was like…a day that was the most emotional roller coaster we have ever experienced.
Then he was able to share what he has achieved in the three years since he left hospital, a mere 9 days after transplant…all thanks to the donor, his family and the amazing Liver Transplant Unit medical team.
I am so proud of him…he has always been and remains so positive, even when things were looking grim…he never complained, just took each hurdle in his stride.
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me feel to watch him talking to groups about what he has been through, and seeing him look so healthy and happy.
One thing that we find is so powerful when doing talks such as this, is the fact that we documented my husband’s liver transplant journey through taking lots of photos…as they say, one photo can say a thousand words.
For example, the photo on the left was taken two weeks before transplant, the one on the right was taken three years after transplant…I still can’t believe the difference…
Afterwards, many of the nurses came up to personally thank us for coming along and speaking to them…one even said how it made her day to hear such a great story.
Talking about our experiences always reminds us just how amazing our story is…not only was my husband was lucky enough to get on the waiting list, but he was also one of the lucky ones to actually get a donor liver.
He is also very lucky to have had such a smooth recovery, as many others experience a very bumpy road after transplant.
There are usually about 50 patients waiting on the list at this hospital for a donor liver at any one time…but the frighting fact is not all of them will get a liver in time…some will die waiting as there are just not enough donor organs to go around.
Hopefully by sharing our story today, we have helped to show just how valuable organ donation is, and how it not only save lives, but can change lives in so many ways!
We are both DonateLife Ambassadors so if you would like us to come and speak to your group or at an event, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Do you have an organ donation story, either as a donor/donor family or as a recipient…please feel free to share in the comments below…