Blissfully in love with my husband, we were planning to start a family 12 months after we were married. I was born with several disabilities and so we decided to have genetic counselling to find out if the baby would inherit my disabilities. After several appointments with the doctors I was given the all clear. Fantastic! I then had a check up with my gynaecologist who found an irregularity with my kidney function reading.
She referred me back to the hospital where I was told I was not healthy enough to have a family and my kidney function was bad. You could have knocked me over with a feather. My world was shattered. I had always wanted children.
My health slowly deteriorated, and as I assumed, my husband left me.
The doctors were fantastic and they wanted to try and find a donor as soon as possible.
My oldest brother offered to be my donor and he was a perfect match. I thought it was all too good to be true. Three weeks before surgery my world was shattered again. The doctors decided the transplant was too complicated because my brother's kidney, although extremely healthy, had too many blood vessels which could have caused more health issues for me.
From day one of dialysis, life became a living hell. I had my regular dialysis sessions at the hospital where the nurses went above and beyond the call of duty - being so patient with the troublesome access I had. It was seven months of a nightmare.
I began to come to terms with the fact that I may not make it much longer. Then the magical phone call came. I still get goose bumps recalling that moment - 'We have a kidney for you!' .
My operation began and three hours later I was out of recovery and back in my room recovering from major surgery. Everyone at the hospital has my eternal gratitude for their care and support.
Each day I could see myself improving. I was amazed by my own recovery and how quickly I was beginning to see changes in my health.
Twelve months on and the kidney is still functioning really well. The pain from the transplant is a distant memory but what isn't a distant memory is the fact that an angel gave me the gift of life. I would not have survived if it wasn't for the generosity of the donor and their family.
I would like to say a massive thank you to all the medical and support staff, other transplant patients who would support you at clinic appointments and most of all my family for never giving up that this magic gift would come to me. I love them all dearly and am so thankful to have everyone in my life.