Hi, my name is James and I am 20 years old. Just being able to say that is an achievement in itself. When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension after collapsing during a game of football with my mates at school.
After months of trials with medication, the doctors told my mum to take me home and explain to me that I had three months to live. My mum, being the strong persistent woman she is, didn’t accept the fact that I was going to die. Through her research she found a transplant team and things began to change.
The heart-lung transplant teams worked hard to keep me alive. They controlled my disease with a variety of medications, but unfortunately when I was 15, I took a tragic turn and the medications started to fail. The only option left for me, was to go on the transplant waiting list for a heart and double lung transplant.
I was told that if I didn’t get a transplant within the next nine months, there was a high chance I wouldn’t live much longer. Fortunately for me, I received a phone call three weeks later offering me the second chance at life.
After hours of surgery and multiple blood transfusions the transplant was successful.
Five years later, I am nothing but grateful to my doctors, surgeons, family, friends and, most of all, the beautiful donor and their family. They turned their tragic loss into an amazing gift and gave me, an absolute stranger, a new life. I now live my life to the fullest, stay healthy and talk to others about saving lives through organ donation.