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Double or nothing (Joel)

By Joel

Being told that I was going to need a double lung transplant at 18yrs of age due to Cystic Fibrosis was something which was both exciting and scary at the same time. It was exciting knowing that there was an opportunity out there, but scary knowing what would happen if I never got there. Life would definitely have to be better than what I had at the time, with no contact with the wider community and being stuck at home.

The wait during the next seven months was extremely hard. Every time the phone rang, I was on tenterhooks. Could this be the call? But the call at midnight was unmistakable. Containing my nervous excitement in case it was a false alarm was difficult.

Things weren't simple following my transplant. I had my best friend, my dad, with me the whole way. He would just sit beside me keeping me company, reading the paper. He was there for my highs and for my lows. I went from being so sick before my transplant, depending on him for everything, to walking everywhere and enjoying things with him after the transplant. 'I was a new man'.

Almost eight years later, I never thought that I would need to go through things all over again with another transplant. I was told I would need a kidney transplant. I just thought 'what next', knowing the wait for kidneys can be a long one.

My dad was once again with me throughout the whole process. Not wanting this to take over my life, he made the decision to donate his kidney to me without a second thought.

I was once told that I would never turn 12, but that is in the distant past with a lung and now kidney transplant. I look forward to living every day and I take nothing for granted. You can't tell anyone how their life is going to turn out - you just make your own destiny.

Joel