Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year's Day 2013 Now 468 Days of Waiting...

Happy New Year to everyone! We are well into the new year now as I write this and as we entered News Year's day I entered my 468th day of waiting, waiting for that special phone call, waiting for my new shiny heart and lungs, waiting to feel better, waiting for my life to be changed once and for all. It is, I suppose a very special wait, so I am trying hard to be extra patient, more patient than I've ever been in my life before, patiently waiting for my gift of new life. I think there is an old saying, 'good things come to those who wait', so I am hanging on and when the time is right I firmly believe my patience will be rewarded.

Sunrise on Dalham Estate, Milnthorpe, Cumbria
After the problems with my heart that I had before Christmas, I started the new year very cautiously, dipping my toe into it, unsure whether I really wanted a new year to start, wishing I could stay in last year as I had managed quite well last year all things being weighed up. But the end of the year brought me a scare, which left me with the worry that I may be deteriorating, which is what will happen at some point, so not unexpected and I'm left feeling a little uncertain and worried about what a new year will bring.            

Anyway New Year's day is behind us now and I am well and truly back on my feet again and ready to embrace all that this year will bring. I'm optimistic that this could be the year that my life is changed and I'm determined to continue with my own personal campaign to increase the number of people on the organ donor register.

River Bela, Milnthorpe, Cumbria
For starters I will ask everyone who is a British citizen to sign the on line campaign to the government for the 'Opt-Out System'. Sadly during those 468 days of my waiting, 1404 people will have died whilst waiting for an organ. They are mums, dads, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives etc. just like me and you. Remember that our government are sitting on their laurels and doing absolutely nothing at the moment to help the cause for organ donation, while three people a day die unnecessarily. Most other countries are way ahead of us with higher numbers on the organ donor register and more organs available. This country is facing a chronic shortage of organ donors, whilst our population is growing and growing. Signing the petition is as easy as apple pie to do, and you are even already on a computer or phone if you are reading this. So click on the link below, complete your name and address and sign the petition, you will then receive an email that just asks you to click on a link and hey presto it is done!

I know most of my friends and family have now signed to be organ donors and I really appreciate your support and that you have made the effort to do this, so a really big thank you to you all. Remember to tell your families though so they know your wishes. If anyone reading this would still like to sign the donor register, here is the link below, again it can be done in a quick instant from the computer or mobile you are on now:  

Thankfully, you are more likely to need an organ than have to give one. Ninety per cent  of people would take an organ, but only thirty three per cent have signed the register. If you would be prepared to take an organ to save your life then sign up now and be prepared to give! 

It seems to have been quite eventful in the transplant world over the festive period. My friend, who has had two heart and double lung transplants, is doing well and very, very slowly beginning her recovery. She has been in our thoughts and prayers and still is.

At the House of Commons, Rob and I met Sue Reid, who is Will Pope's aunt, Will was featured in the ITV 'Tonight' programme before Christmas, 'Waiting for a Heart' and his family and friends have been campaigning furiously to raise awareness of organ donation. They have a very public campaign and have been featured in the Daily Mail. Will got his much needed new heart on New Year's Eve. He is struggling at the moment and we are all hoping and praying that he pulls through. You can follow Will's story on  

Floods on Dalham Estate
Rob and I also met a lovely gentleman called Steve Gazzard while we were at the House of Commons, Steve's daughter Sarah had been waiting for a double lung transplant, but because of the chronic shortage of organs, Sarah sadly died while she waited. Sarah left behind a loving husband and three young children. Since Sarah was diagnosed Steve has launched several local campaigns to raise awareness of organ donation and he too was featured in the Daily Mail this week, you can find it on daily mail online. The article was very moving and when Steve stood up in the House of Commons to speak about his campaign and his daughter and to give his views to the All Party Parliamentary Committee, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. 

Back to getting on with living life now, Rob and I took Rose down to Bournemouth so she could get herself ready for her new term at University. I had dithered whether to go or not, unsure about being a long way from home in case I wasn't well again. In the end I decided to throw caution to the wind, when I had one of the episodes with my heart before Christmas, I was on my own as Rob was picking Rose up from Bournemouth and I thought maybe at least I would be with someone if I went with them this time and you can still phone 999 in Bournemouth! This felt like a turning point to getting back to normal again. We had a good journey there and back again and I think its helped me in getting my confidence back to start venturing out again more now after a very quiet Christmas.  

Dalham Estate, Milnthorpe, Cumbria
As I write this, I have now been waiting 475 days, I am beginning to feel like Robinson Crusoe, but I suppose I've a long way to go to beat him, he waited 28 years to be rescued! I suppose if I could manage to wait that long, it really wouldn't matter about the transplant would it? I'd be the grand old age of 80!    


  1. Hello Kathryn, my name is Emma Hardwick and I am a reporter at the Welwyn Hatfield Times. We have been looking at your blog and we would love to be able to write a piece about you and to help raise awareness of organ donation. If you could contact me that would be great, my number is 01707 3768825 or my email is Thanks

  2. Hi Kath, I am originally from Tring but now live in Paris, France. I was lucky enough to receive a new heart within 3 days last year, when I needed one. This was mainly due to the Opt out system that exists here. My Uncle (from Bedford) and I are trying to also campaign to change the UK law, and we thought we should join forces with the Pope's campaign. We have already 'put out' the link to your e-petition, and have both be featured on the front pages of our local newspapers. I wondered if you could pass on my email address to the Popes (I have tried to direct tweet them but not sure it worked being an amateur!) I totally understand that I may not hear from them for sometime due to Will's delicate state, but would appreciate it.
    I am now 9 months post-op and am doing well, although have had several set backs but then we all do. I hope and pray that you get your New year's wish soon, meantime as we say here ' Bon Courage'.