Two Fridays ago at 7.38am my phone rang. Sleepily I answered it wondering who it could be at this hour. When a cheery voice announced that it was a representative from UK Transplant I didn’t even click, thinking it was probably about something to do with a press article they wanted me to do, which has been the sole reason that they have called me in the past. So when the voice happily said that a matching kidney had been found I literally was speechless and couldn’t even string a sentence together to the poor guy on the other end of the phone. I literally can’t explain the feelings and emotion that flooded through my body at this moment in time, I have never felt anything like it. Completely elated at the news, but unable to let it properly sink in I calmly walked through my flat to the bathroom where my house mate was getting ready to go to work.
In my best ‘trying to stay calm voice’ I told my housemate the news. She promptly burst in to floods of tears and hugged me, but then quickly switched in to major organisational mode and called a taxi to the hospital whilst I stood in the sitting room unable to move with a million thoughts going through my head…not only about the operation ahead but also about the amazing person that made the decision to donate their organs when they had died, and the incredible family that honoured his decision even though they would be hurting so much at this point.
A few phone calls later and my mum was also on the way to the hospital where I was met by a Doctor who took my bloods and explained that they had to measure my anti bodies to check that my body wouldn’t reject the kidney. The test results take four hours to come through...meanwhile I was to have an ECG, and echo test (both examine the heart), a chest x-ray and also an emergency session of dialysis. I was told that in order to go ahead with the transplant I would have to clear each one of these tests. Being in complete shock I didn’t want to let my myself believe that I would have the transplant until it was a 100% certain as I knew how much of a let down it would be if it didn’t go ahead.
I had thought about this day almost every day since I was diagnosed with kidney failure four and a half years ago, and I always thought I would be quite excited and calm about the whole thing. But I wasn’t at all, in fact I was the complete opposite and cried with happiness and nerves for most of the morning. I was in an absolute state of shock, having had resigned to the fact that I could be waiting many more years for my kidney.
It wasn’t until the Doctor returned telling me that the blood tests were all good and the operation was to go ahead, that I let myself believe that I was to have my transplant and family and friends started rallying around.
It was at this point that everything slowed down a bit, I stopped being rushed round the hospital from test to test and instead was left to wait in a tiny corridor at the end of a ward. When a nurse came to get me, requesting I brought my ‘next of kin’ with me and asked me to wait in a little room I knew that something wasn’t right. The five minute wait until the Doctor came in felt like time had slowed down – it was agony. When he eventually came in I knew straight away from the look on his face that the transplant wasn’t going to go ahead. I couldn’t tell you exactly what he said as from the second he said ‘I’m so sorry…’ I didn’t hear anything else and collapsed in floods of tears, in complete despair that I had come so close and for the first time in 4 and a half years I had let myself think about life without dialysis and how amazing it would be.
Apparently when the surgical team had had a proper look at the kidney they decided that it wasn’t good enough to given to me, as there was a chance it could fail as the artieries weren’t as strong as they should be.
I was absolutely overwhelmed at how supportive those close to me were, and how understanding everyone was at the sadness and disappointment I felt. But as I went home that night I had to remind myself that although I was mourning for a kidney I never had, there was a family out there mourning for a young person who they had lost, and obviously that doesn’t even compare to what I went through.
Sending some smiles!
3 weeks ago