Friday, April 20, 2007

Today I celebrate the 5th anniversary of my new life

It's warm and sunny here in Waterloo, Ontario today and I'm planning to do something that I've enjoyed over the years, and that's celebrating my 5 years of extra life by going for a long hike in the woods, something I couldn't do when I was in end stage respiratory failure and waiting for a lung transplant.

In this photo I'm in the ICU post-transplant. Looks are deceiving, because inside I was bursting with the joy of knowing my life had been saved and saying silent thanks to my donor, my donor's family, Dr. Shaf Keshavjee and the lung transplant team and everyone else that supported me, prayed for me and sent best wishes.click for larger view
That's me 5 years later, (standing beside the cake and flowers) yesterday at Toronto General Hospital. I have a big smile because I was in a state of surprise. Dr. Shaf Keshavjee and others got me to the hospital under the guise that I was going to be meeting with some potential major financial donors for his lung transplant program. click for larger view
But it turned out to be a celebration in honor of my 5 year anniversary. I was also presented with an Honorary Doctor of Philanthropy degree by Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and honored by Trillium Gift of Life Network, for my contributions to fund raising for the hospital and advancing organ donation awareness. View all of the pictures at my photo journal. click for larger view


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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

happy anniversary!

Peter Laurence said...

Merv,

Happy 5th Anniversary. We bet yesterday's surprise party was filled with both a great deal of emotions and happiness.
Merv, for all the hard work you have done over the past few years to raise awareness about Organ and Tissue Donations, you certainly deserved this party. Hat's off too those you pulled it off.

Merv, Lynne & I wish you many many more good years of Health with your Family & Friends.

Peter & Lynne Laurence

Christine Sheppard said...

Dad,

I can hardly believe that five years ago I got the call telling me you were in the operating room. I had such mixed emotions of happiness and fear. But I knew you would be OK and that you would be one of the lucky few to be thriving five years after that fateful call. I was proud to be your support person and proud to watch you gain strength both physically and emotionally. It's a very happy day for the Sheppard family. Happy, happy anniversary with all my love.

Chris
PS Are you going to make me call you Dr. Dad?

Anonymous said...

Merv,

Congratulation on this momentous milestone. You certainly have worked hard, both in body & soul, over the past five years to promote the worthy cause of organ donation. May the next five years of your new life be even more rewarding.
Happy anniversary.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Merv,


May the good Lord see and bless you,On your Anniversary day.
May He always be your companion,
And guide you on your way to many more healthy and happy days ahead.

Lynne and Peter Laurence

Sandy said...

Dad,

You look wonderful. God gave you very gifted Doctors to give you a new life. I pray that you will always know that with God all things are possible. I am very proud of you and I look forward to seeing you in the summer.

Your daughter Sandy and son-in-law Doug from Wenatchee, WA

Bonnie said...

Hi Dad,

Five years and you look fantastic! Don't forget to give yourself some credit for your amazing recovery. You researched your illness intensively, took your meds religiously, created a diet fine-tuned to your needs and you exercised as much as you could. On top of that, you found the time and energy to raise funds for the hospital and create awareness around organ donation. Not only have you been a model patient but you have gone above and beyond anyone's expectations. No wonder your doctors love and appreciate you so much! I'm proud of all you've accomplished Dad, especially in the face of adversity and I'm looking forward to so many more years together.

Lots of Love,

Bonnie xoxo