Wednesday, 2 November 2016
A Positive Day
It's been a really good day today as I felt well enough to visit the John Henry Newman School in Stevenage, where Rob and I gave a talk to the sixth form on organ donation, transplant, my book 'Life is for the Living' and the important work of Papworth Hospital and Papworth Hospital Charity.
The school has chosen to support us in raising awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension and organ donation and help us raise funds for Papworth Hospital Charity during this autum. They are holding several events over the next few months, including a non-school uniform day, a book signing evening and a Christmas concert, which is fantastic.
It's quite poignant that our first event today was at the beginning of November as November is the month when the campaign for raising awareness of Pulmonary Hypertension is launched - the rare and incurable disease I had that led me to having a heart and double lung transplant. Pulmonary Hypertension is high blood pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs, eventually causing damage to both the lungs and the heart. There can be different causes such as congenital heart disease, autoimmune disorders and, as in my particular case, it can suddenly just start for no apparent reason and is then known as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.
Having been under the weather and still waiting on more tests, today had been another day that I'd been looking forward to and hoping I could still manage - one of those motivators to try and do something positive in between a time of what feels some uncertainty yet. It was a wonderful opportunity to speak to an audience of circa two hundred people about these important issues that are so close to our hearts. There was lots of interest, lots of leaflets given out and lots of discussion amongst the sixth form on organ donation. Our main message on organ donation was the importance of having that discussion with your family, so everyone knows what your wishes are.
All in all a very positive day for us and the start of more activities and exciting things to look forward to in these next months leading up to Christmas.