Being diagnosed with lung disease was initially something that shocked me. I still led an active life, involved in work and numerous sports. Deterioration of my lung capacity down to 6% meant that I was eventually placed on the transplant waiting list. I was no longer able to do the things which I had previously taken for granted. I required constant support from my family for simple tasks, which took a toll on everyone. Without the support of my wife and brother, life was an existence.
Getting that midnight phone call was both a relief and exciting. It took a while to gather our thoughts and understand that this opportunity was actually happening. Everything was surreal. I was about to receive a double lung transplant and have a new chance at life.
Since that phone call, I now look at every moment and every day as being a bonus. I have gone from nothing to having everything following my double lung transplant. Getting out of bed, performing simple tasks, and catching up with friends while on continuous oxygen was frustrating.
I am now able to spend time with family, working, and walking nearly 10km every day. When asked why I enjoy my daily walks so much, I quickly respond with, 'Because I can'.
I treasure every day since that moment, spending time with my family and knowing that I may not have had this opportunity. Each morning I am reminded of the generous gift that my donor and their family made. Waking up and taking my first breath, I always pause and say thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to go for a walk, to cheer on my favourite footy team, for the time spent with my family, for everything.
Thank you for giving me my life back. Thank you.