I was born with Cystic Fibrosis back in 1979. In 2002 the Cystic Fibrosis had caught up with me and I had only one chance to survive a double lung and liver transplant.
I waited 15 months for my transplant, 15 very difficult months where death was often closer than life. But on December 28th, 2002 I finally got the call from my hospital letting me know that they had received organs for me. I wasn’t scared at that moment that I might never wake up from this huge operation ever again. That I might not see my parents, friends, the world ever again after this. I was simply relieved that the waiting time was finally over. That I at least reached the point where a second chance was offered to me and I didn’t die waiting for it.
My recovery after my transplant was rough. I was so weak after my operation I wasn’t able to lift my head up, sit up or stand up without help. I had two huge fallbacks in the first year past transplant, more hospital visits, new medical problems and suddenly the fear I couldn’t trust my body anymore. I always thought I would be all fine if I would survive my transplant but the truth was, having survived a double lung and liver transplant didn’t keep me safe from all the other things out there that could kill me. An insight I wasn’t prepared for. How to keep on living if you expect to be back in the hospital any given day now?
It was a long road to get healthy again, in body and soul but I made it. I’m exactly where I always wanted to be:
I’m healthy again!
I participated and finished a 10k obstacle mud run, I travel abroad, I participated in one World Transplant Game, went diving with dolphins, I go snowboarding as in ‘sitting on my butt with the snowboard tied to my feet’ AND I became a mother in December 2002. My donor not just saved my life but the next generation.
Every year I write a letter to my donor family, letting them know that I’m doing well, sending them drawings my son did but all anonymous. I was transplanted in Germany where I’m originally from and in Germany it’s unfortunately not allowed to meet your donor family. Nevertheless, when I watch my kid play in the sand, laugh and run with his friends or simply cuddle up in my arms my gratitude, my tears of joy, my heart goes to them and their lost son.
Who wants to see what kind of moments an organ donation can save, please visit the gallery of Donated Years and get inspired!