Life. We wonder at its origins, we marvel at its complexity, we find peace in its beauty, yet we take it for granted.
I took my life for granted. Suddenly it became significant and my future became a mystery when I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. A career that was planned became early retirement at age 30. My wife Lorraine's plans for a child in five years became the need for a child now, so part of me could live on in a new life.
I was limited in what I could do and Lorraine did what I couldn't. She reduced work to part time so I could sleep when our new son Lochie needed to play.
Slowly, over a period of nine years, I became less able. I was dying. Fluid in my lungs made it a struggle to breathe. My muscles became weaker. Night time sleep was difficult because I was afraid of dying in the quiet darkness. Depression was with me constantly.
I couldn't take it anymore. I was assessed to be put on the transplant waiting list. This was the second time in my life a transplant was high on my agenda. When I was 20 years old I was in remission from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and had to decide if I wanted a bone marrow transplant. Back then I wasn't mentally ready and decided not to go ahead. However this time, I was ready. Also, I had no choice.
In the last days before the heart transplant, I wasn't me. My spirit was there hanging on by a mere thread, but I was ready to die. Everyone I knew thought the same and visited me in ICU to say goodbye although I was oblivious to it all.
After observation by the transplant team, I was taken off the list. My body wouldn't cope. However I somehow improved the next day and was put back on the list. Luckily, a heart became available and I had my operation.
Life has its ups and downs. It has its miracles. It has those who give miracles.
To my donor and their family - you gave me the miracle.
To Lorraine and Lochie - you are the miracles that keep me going.
To my doctors and medical team - you are the miracles who control and monitor my progress.
Without you all, I would not be here to marvel at life's miraculous beauty.