At 37, I was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (liver disease).
Some 13 years later, my liver was failing. I found I was spending more and more time in hospital. The doctors and nursing staff at the liver transplant clinic prepared me for a major operation - physically and mentally.
It might sound strange but I was actually relieved that I was now going on the transplant waiting list. I accepted the idea of the transplant as I was so unwell.
Seven months later the hospital rang and we swung into action. After being admitted, I was informed that the operation wouldn't take place till the morning.
I remember that morning of the transplant. My family was with me as we looked at the possibility of organ donation (tears did roll). My life now depended on the skills of the doctors in theatre.
Finally, despite the pain, I felt so happy and relieved. I had my life back because of a donor, a medical team, my family and friends. There was no turning back. I had to be worthy of it and smile and shine so others could see. I reached into myself and told myself to find that tiny spark and be very thankful I had received a second chance of life.
I thank the donor and their family and hope they can find some comfort in the knowledge that their gift provided me with the opportunity to share a happier and healthier future with my family.
Their generous and courageous decision became a precious gift of life for which I am eternally grateful. It has given life to a complete stranger and I see this as incredibly special.
The donor and family are rarely out of my thoughts and I hope they have some comfort knowing they have saved a life by this wonderful gift.