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I owe my life to a stranger

By Racquel

It was mid-February when I woke up feeling very ill and assumed I had gastro. I was very wrong.

I was eventually diagnosed with Hepatitis A, most likely from food poisoning. Ninety-nine per cent of people get over Hepatitis A, but unfortunately I was in the one per cent. I had gone from being a healthy, active woman to someone who was facing death. I needed a liver transplant and without it, I would not survive.

Four months after waking up feeling unwell, I was put on life support in ICU. My liver had poisoned my whole body, my kidneys were collapsing, my brain was swelling, my lungs were suffering and everything was collapsing rapidly. At 10:00pm that evening my family gathered to say goodbye.

Later that night my family got the phone call. They had found a liver that matched - a liver that would save my life.

I had been given the ultimate gift. If I had not received the transplant, I would have died. It is as simple as that. Organ donation is a very simple choice but I think it is one that everyone should consider.

My road to recovery has been very slow, my family and friends have been an amazing support for me.

I have had many further stays in hospital fighting severe rejection, but I now have a new outlook on life. After being stuck in bed unable to do anything and so close to death, everything changes.

I am so very thankful for being given my second chance, and I owe my life to a stranger.

Racquel