Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Eighteen Months Post Transplant

I'm now officially eighteen months post transplant! I don't know where the time has gone, but it just seems to go faster and faster. I haven't posted for a good few weeks as life is getting busier and busier now things are much more normal, but here's just a quick catch up. 

On the health front things are good. I've been back to clinic for more blood tests and they were fine this time, so no more clinic until May if things keep going well. I'm waiting to see my GP next to sort out the blood pressure monitor that the Transplant Team want me to have, so everything is going as well as can be.

Socially, we've been busy getting out and about: we've been to London a couple of times meeting up with friends and we got the wonderful opportunity to go to a reception at St James's Palace, hence this week's pictures taken in London around St James's Park and the Mall. We've been up to Papworth to the PH Matters Support Group, where Rob and I did a talk about my transplant journey and we travelled to both Hemel Hempstead and Birmingham this week to see more friends. Life is different than before my illness, but we've got back to being just as busy somehow, which is fantastic and something I never could have believed. 

Opportunities keep on coming to raise more awareness about the issues around Organ Donation. Following my day at the House of Commons with Transplant 2020 earIier this month I was contacted by the local press and managed to get another article in the Stevenage Comet with an interview from me and one from my local MP, Steven McPartland. 

I've also just completed my Dechox for the British Heart Foundation and managed to raise £270 passing my target of £250! Thanks to everyone who sponsored me. British Heart Foundation are helping to fund the genetic research for Pulmonary Hypertension that I'm taking part in, so it's a cause that is close to my heart. I'm looking forward to Easter now and maybe a few chocolate treats! 

I'd just like to wish everyone a very happy Easter, I hope you get chance for some peaceful time with your family and friends and enjoy the break. 

And to finish, never a day goes by without me thinking about the person that gave me the chance to thoroughly enjoy this last eighteen months and all this precious time with my family and friends. They are always in mine and my family's thoughts. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

House of Commons and Transplant 2020

Last week I had the exciting opportunity to go to the House of Commons and participate in Transplant 2020's exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall. 

The event was held to profile Transplant 2020 following its rebrand since Transplant 2013 and raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation amongst MPs and Peers. It was a chance to brief MPs and Peers on the issues surrounding organ donation and Transplantation and share with them NHSBT's 2020 Regional Report Cards. There were also opportunities to encourage MPs to take some action at both local and national levels to try and help improve the rates of organ donation and transplantation. 

Transplant 2020 is a coalition of patient groups, clinical organisations and industry dedicated to raising the consent rate for organ donation in the UK to 80% by 2020- there are still 41% of families refusing to donate a loved one's organs according to data for 2013-2014. 

For me it was a great opportunity to return to the House of Commons feeling well and post transplant. The last time I went there was to speak to MPs and Peers on behalf of Transplant 2013 to explain to them what it was like waiting the long wait on the transplant list. That was back in 2012 and I was in a wheelchair. This time I was able to speak to quite a few MPs and chat about what it was like to have your life transformed through having a transplant. It was also great to speak with my MP Stephen McPartland, who was wholly supportive of our campaign. 

The exhibition was in the Upper Waiting Hall for the whole week, so hopefully we have got many MPs, Peers and visitors talking about organ donation and transplant. 

For more information check out Transplant 2020's website: 

With Stephen McPartland, my MP

With Glynn Davies our sponsoring MP and Nick Torpey, Executive Board, Transplant 2020

My Dechox is going well - I've gone four weeks without chocolate and just over a week without cake, biscuits and puddings - just three weeks left to go now! Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me - not too far to go now to reach my target - just £50 to go...