Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Graduations and Babies

It's been quite a lovely week here in the Graham family as we have lots of good news to share. 

Firstly, both Rose and David have achieved firsts for their university degrees, so we were all really delighted and thrilled for them as they can now both move on with confidence to new careers and ventures. David had his graduation this week and it's been lovely seeing the photographs. 

Rob  and I are both really proud of Rose. I can always remember, hoping that I would see her complete her degree and graduate. Her graduation isn't until November, so I have that wonderful milestone to look forward to now.  It's something that I didn't expect I would ever see a few years ago, so knowing she's completed her degree and achieved a first is pretty special and we're already making plans for going back to Dorset when she actually graduates. More celebations to look forward to ahead. 

We are particularly proud of her as it wasn't so easy for her with the worries over my health. During her first year I was already listed for and waiting for my heart and lung transplant and I was often in and out of hospital and I know it was difficult for her being so far away from home worrying over what was going on. Then when she started her second year, she had to come straight back home on her first day back at university because I had my transplant call. She had to cope with me being in a coma for a while and the worries that came over my initial recovery. 

For me personally, it feels a big moment and another one of those special times where it makes me stop and realise how precious life is, what a miracle organ donation can be and it makes me feel even more grateful to my donor. We need to keep raising awareness of organ donation though, so that others can be given a second chance like I have. There are still around six thousand five hundred people waiting for a transplant, their lives and their families lives on hold while they do. 

We've also been keeping a secret for a while and have been bursting to tell everyone the news. This week we're finally allowed to share that Sarah and Oli are expecting a baby in January, so I'm going to be a grandma for the first time. We've seen the pictures of the first scan, which are pretty amazing and show so much more detail than I remember when I had my scans for Sarah and Rose. I'm so excited and again feel how amazing it all is that I've been given these chances. I'd always hoped for this moment and it's wonderful to have the chance to see the baby in the scan pictures, I can't wait for January now. Again, it all feels very poignant and I'm so thankful to my donor who has given me these moments. 

My book 'Life is for the Living' is still flourishing and selling and this week sales have topped over six hundred and fifty, which I'm delighted about. I hope that with this many sales I've been able to spread a little more awareness about what it is like to live with Pulmonary Hypertension and how important organ donation is. There has been some wonderful feedback and I know readers have been passing the book around to share with friends and help spread the word. Rob received a lovely text from a friend who had bought a copy for his friend who's a GP. He's now going to use the book when he trains new medical students. I think this text made my day - it's that thought that there are people out there who will now have a better understanding of what it's like living with rare disease and transplantation. 

A massive thanks to everyone who has helped me achieve this and bought, recommended or reviewed the book. I'm soon going to be able to make some more donations to the charities and support groups that are close to my heart and it's all thanks to you.