I received a second chance at life as the recipient of a double transplant. My kidneys and liver were failing, the result of polycystic disease which is fluid cysts embedded into those organs. First diagnosed 15 years earlier, the growth of the cysts had been slow up until January 2014. There was no reason for their sudden and rapid growth, but the effects were devastating from the start. I fought stabbing abdominal pain, uncontrollable blood pressure, blood loss from the cysts breaking and bleeding out, weakness as my iron levels dropped, failing kidney function and a belly so distended I seemed 9 months pregnant. Three months of dialysis and injections made me stronger had my blood and iron levels good enough to proceed by early autumn.
October, 2014 - thirteen days after I got my pager, my call came. There were tears of joy and tears of fear! The 10 hour surgery removed 22 pounds of organs and replaced them with a new kidney and liver from the same donor.
I’m telling my story so people can understand the importance of organ donation. I know that somewhere a family is grieving the loss of a person they’ve loved. My hope is that they can come to terms with the idea of giving a stranger a second chance at life. In death there can be so much hope and so much renewed life. A personal friend of mine lost her son and he donated all his organs (40). She feels so proud that her son was able to help so many people and feels that his spirit is still alive. This helps her cope with the loss of her son. Become a donor. Register online at www.beadonor.ca Register when you renew your driver's licence OR Go to any Service Ontario Office and register with your Health Card “GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE”