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My donor family heroes

By Christine

My name is Christine. I was a blue baby and my parents were told I needed heart surgery to survive. I was operated on the very next day. Five days later Mum and Dad came to collect me. My parents were told to take me home and love me as I probably wouldn't live to see school age. Well - I did, although I was so small Mum had to make my first uniform!

I underwent a cardiac catheter at 18 and it was then I was told there was nothing further the doctors could do for me apart from a heart/lung transplant. They also told me I would never have children.

I met and married a wonderful man and in 1999 we made a beautiful baby boy who was carried to term by his generous Aunt.

My journey towards transplant started when my oxygenation levels were dropping significantly. It took me over three months to become 'listed' for a transplant and then I waited almost 16 months for that miracle call.

I remember being very scared as I was wheeled away from my family that night, hoping that I would make it through. For me the recovery was a long road. Mum and I spent three months in and around hospital. Finally the wonderful doctors and nurses won the war and I was heading home - a new woman.

Since my transplant I have been able to take my first overseas holiday, stand on the top of a live volcano, attend the car races at Bathurst and so much more. The absolute best is I've been able to watch my baby grow into a beautiful young man, see him score his first goal on the soccer field and put a band-aid on his grazed knee. It's those small things like spending time with your family that I just love.

There are no words in the English language to convey my gratitude to my donor and their family. Thank you just doesn't seem to get anywhere near it. I think of them every day of my new life and hope that they can have some peace in knowing that the wonderful gift they gave me is being cared for and enjoyed to the fullest. They are my heroes, although I shall never meet them.

Christine