I had been ill since birth and treated for asthma when, at the age of 17, I suffered a stroke and was admitted to hospital for tests. The stroke turned out to be a blessing in disguise as doctors found that I was not asthmatic but had been born with a hole in the heart which had led to hypertension in my lungs.
When I was told I needed a heart and double lung transplant, I was thankful that there was a solution to the blue tinge to my skin, being unable to breathe or walk far. I saw my transplant as the solution I had waited my whole life for.
I was 26 years old when I underwent the operation. My donor had died, however their incredible gift of life saved not only me but others as well and all of us are aware of how this selfless act had prevented our deaths.
Following transplant I realised how ill I had been as I'd never known any different. For the first time in my life my feet were pink and finally I was able to walk up a hill. Then I found that jogging on the spot warmed me up rather than turning me blue and giddy. Who knew!
I have been incredibly fortunate to have had the last 17 years, where I can participate in the Transplant Games, make new friends, get married, have a career and basically do all the things I would never have been able to do.
And all because someone I never met was kind enough to make it all possible.