Someone special died today two years ago. I’ll never know who they were. They made a choice in life that when they died they would give someone else, a stranger, the gift of a second chance in life by becoming an organ donor, that stranger was me. Many of you will know that I was very unwell and it was a very difficult time, not only for me, but more so for my family and friends. I had spent a lot of time in hospital, and at times looked like Homor Simpson. The toxins in my body made me confused and hallucinate. I had nearly died three times, my lungs kept collapsing and I had numerous other problems too. I had been to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to be assessed to see if I was suitable to go on the transplant list. I didn’t get on. Contrary to what many may think, you don’t automatically get on the transplant list. You have to go through a series of medical, psychological and social test. So despite being very unwell, you have to be pretty tough to get on the list. Many people do not make the list. Four months later I went for another assessment and was then placed on the list. Just after 6 am on the 7th July 2012 my phone rang and it was one of the transplant coordinators saying that a liver had become available for me. Despite waiting for a call, which I may never had got, it took a few minutes to sink in. I had to be on the road within an hour. We had already planned that my dad, William Scully would come with me. I rang him and told him the cab was on the way. he hadn’t even had time to open his curtains when it arrived. We arrived at the hospital just after 8am and was taken to the ward. I had a volley of tests, to see if I was medical fir to undergo the surgery. I was. I sat in the bed, waiting, watching the time go by. A nurse came in every so often and said that the liver was on the way. I was aware that despite being ready there was a possibility that the transplant may not go ahead. My sister and her husband had cut short their holiday to come to the hospital. They had been absolutely brilliant throughout!!! At &.40 pm a nurse came in and said that they were ready….. I was wheeled down to the operating theatre. My sister cam with me. Two nurses got me ready and grappled to get my boxers off me. I was joking with them. My sister was clearly upset and asked why I could joke. I said that I did not know if I would make it though the operation (some people don’t) and wanted to be remembered with my last moments joking. At 2.30 I woke up. I was very disoriented. A nurse told me that I was in hospital and had just had a n operation. I drifted in an out of consciousness. My sister put her head around the door and I gave her the thumbs up. I was taken to the ward the same day, sitting in a chair the day after and walking round the ward the next. The day after that I was ready to go home, but had to stay in as there was a problem with my blood. the rest is history. There were many people who experienced, and supported me through this journey with me, the bad and the very bad. To many to mention, but you know who you are!!!
Everyday I speak with parents and other people in my Daddys with angelsgroups about their loss and do my best to help bring them some comfort. I did write to my donor family, as anonymously as I could. I told them about myself, my family and my support groups ( I couldn’t’ say which one) I will never know if they got it or if they read it. I hope they did and I hope that by the choice that their loved one made ( all I know is he was a 29 year old male who died of a brain aneurysm) helped bring them some comfort in their loss.
Being a recipient of an organ donated by someone else is very humbling. It makes you realise how precious and fragile life is and how by someone else’s choice they can give someone else a second chance. I am on the organ donor register. I don’t need any of me when I am gone, but if it can give someone elsse a second chance then I will be happy with that. I would hope that my family would take some comfort in knowing my death had helped someone else.
if you haven’t consider being an organ donor please take a few minutes a few minutes to consider it. You could make a difference!!