Tuesday, 10 July 2012

National Transplant Week 2012: Law of Averages

Today is a little bit of a milestone for me. It is two and a half years since I became ‘active’ on the double lung transplant list.

Here is a table (created with data from NHS Blood and Transplant) detailing the average waiting times for transplant of various organs (for adults).
Waiting time to transplant in days
Kidney and Pancreas

So, I suppose you can say I have had an ‘above average’ wait for a lung transplant so far... but many people have to wait even longer than I have waited so far! 

I knew from the start that just because I was able to be listed for transplant, it does not guarantee you a transplant. In fact, three people die each day waiting for their transplants. The surgeon I met during the initial assessment process made it explicitly clear that it is always a possibility that I may not get a call. So whilst being on the transplant list gives me the hope of a second chance at life, I still live my life very much to the ‘max’ – doing as much as I am physically able to. 

I know I have talked about the emotional side of deciding to opt for a transplant and embarking on the long assessment process that it demands, but I want to stress again that it isn’t a decision that is reached lightly. It involves much discussion and counselling and the fact that I will be swapping one demanding treatment regime with another, the difference being however, with a successful transplant I will have so much more energy with which to tackle these challenges! During my period of waiting, I have seen several friends lose their battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Some have been waiting for transplants and some have decided that a transplant is not for them. Each time this has happened, it has struck me down quite hard, but it has also made me more determined to try to keep as positive as I can and to keep myself as well as I possibly can so should I be lucky enough to receive a transplant call which is NOT a false alarm, I would be fit enough for the surgery. 

To conclude today’s mini blog I would urge you all to please keep spreading the word far and wide about signing the register and talking about your wishes with your loved ones. I must extend a big thank you to my friend Hannah who’s birthday wish today was for people to sign up to the register! What a great idea!! 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, a long wait for a kidney! Really hope your exciting call comes soon, but it must get tiring, spesh after 2 1/2 yrs. Do you ever forget you're on the list?! I'm waiting for a liver + panc, just about reached the average wait time, but WHO KNOWS eh! I think about it all the bloody time, don't think I could keep up this level of anticipation for any long period of time. Might pop! xxx