That's me in the ICU just 3 days following my surgery on April 20, 2002. I can remember thinking about how I was going to "give back" but my body wasn't ready to respond just yet. (click image for larger photo)
Since my transplant, in addition to maintaining this blog, I have been an advocate for organ donation awareness and fund raising for lung transplant research at Toronto General Hospital. Most of my activities are recorded in a photo journal at http://www.pbase.com/mshepp. I'm also on the Provincial Volunteer Committee for Trillium Gift of Life Network in Ontario and am an "Ambassador" for lung transplant research and the importance of participation in clinical trials in transplant research.
My assessment went well and I can honestly say that life is better than I can remember it ever being. My health is great, my weight is perfect and I have more friends now than I could have ever imagined. When they say that an organ transplant is life-transforming there's no question about it, at least in my case.
I'm extremely happy to be alive even, considering that I was near death before my transplant and so incapacitated that I couldn't even bend over to tie my own shoes. And that was while I was on oxygen 24/7. Life is sure great, isn't it?
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves