Hi, my name is Michelle. Unlike most transplant recipients I enjoyed a life full of health and fitness right up until I ruptured my liver from a hard fall during a game of sport. A freak accident.
A week after initial surgery, my liver suddenly failed and I was in real trouble. My only chance of survival was an urgent liver transplant - ideally within 24 hours. As time ran out, I received a liver that was not particularly healthy but it kept me alive long enough to receive a second liver two days later. Upon waking, finding out I had two liver transplants was the biggest surprise of my life, and it has also been my source of life for nearly ten years now.
After the transplants I slowly recovered with a few ups and downs and more daytime TV than I could imagine. But before long, I was back working, studying, riding my bike, swimming and enjoying good health and a full family life once again.
My greatest joy came in 2007 with the birth of our daughter Amelia - two days before the fifth anniversary of my transplants. Being a mum makes me even more appreciative of the amazing gift I have been given. I also have a wonderful partner, Jo, who was a tower of strength when I was ill and continues to exude optimism for the future.
None of this would be possible if two special donors and their families had not acted selflessly and courageously to agree to organ donation. I was incredibly lucky to receive two donated organs in three days, but many others are not as fortunate as me and will die waiting for a transplant.
My donors and their families are often in my thoughts and meeting other donor families is always special for me. I truly hope my donor families gained some comfort from knowing that the generosity of their loved one made such a life-giving difference to me and my family. Please consider organ donation and make your wishes known to your family. Many lives depend on it.