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A gift from a stranger

By Kyla

I would like to tell you about a gift I received. It was from someone I don't know and may never know, yet it is the most generous gift one can receive - the gift of life.

My name is Kyla. I was born with a serious and rare liver disease called biliary atresia. This meant that my body was unable to remove bile from my system as the ducts that carry bile from my liver to my gallbladder were completely blocked.

At five weeks old I had an operation called a 'Kasai procedure' to create new ducts aimed at removing the bile. At first we thought the Kasai procedure worked, but unfortunately when I was 10 weeks old my condition began to deteriorate. I was constantly getting infections, extremely lethargic and not able to eat. My skin became very yellow to the point where I looked green - even my tears were yellow. The doctors said my only chance at survival was a liver transplant.

I was placed on the transplant waiting list as a high priority as I was already in chronic liver failure. Then, when I was four and a half months old, the call we had been anxiously waiting for arrived.We were told that there was a family who despite their grief and loss, agreed to donate their loved one's organs, one of which was given to me.

Because of this exceptional, selfless act this donor family saved my life, as well as several other people in the same situation as me. Without their gift it is highly unlikely that I would be here today to share my story, and I am eternally grateful to this special family for giving me the chance of life.

As a transplant recipient I know first-hand how important organ donation is. I also know how important it is to increase our organ and tissue donation rate, as currently we don't have nearly enough donors for those waiting for transplants. So please consider becoming an organ donor - your one decision can change a person's life forever. My donor family's decision changed mine, and I can't thank them enough.

Kyla