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I'm one of the lucky ones

By Maureen

I'm one of the lucky ones, and thanks to my wonderful donor family, I'm alive!

About four years ago my health started going downhill. After seeing several doctors and having a barrage of tests I was advised I had a rare liver disease and that a future transplant was my only option.

The specialists had numerous predictions about how long I had, but within just another year it was obvious the transplant was needed much sooner than expected.

I was referred to the Austin Hospital Liver Unit where I was placed on the waiting list. I was very scared because there are no guarantees, and with the number of others in the same situation, the prognosis wasn't looking good.

It took nearly two years of waiting, and by this time my family knew that without a transplant soon the end was only a matter of weeks away. At this point the toxins were no longer filtered by my failing liver and had built up so much that I was too unwell to know what was happening.

I don't have a memory of the twelve months leading up to my eventual transplant. I had lost the ability to read and write, couldn't remember how to cook or do even the most basic of tasks that most us take for granted.

Here I am now, some fourteen months later, and I'm healthy, happy and enjoying my life once again. Words really don't seem enough when expressing gratitude to my donor family. How do you thank someone enough for giving you back your life?

I urge everyone to become an organ donor. There are just so many people who need your help.