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My Gift of Life
I was an athletic student, enjoying rep. hockey, football, working in tobacco harvest and attending school and had a dream of becoming a police officer when I got sick and found out I had an enlarged heart. I had to quit all sports and start taking medicine to make my heart work better. It was hard to go and watch my friends play without me. I was able to attend school, but I was tired and didn’t have much energy. My family doctor sent me to London and the doctor there did a heart transplant assessment and said I wasn’t a candidate at that point. I was able to work at a fluffing job at my farmer’s tobacco farm and I enjoyed being with my friends. It was a year later and I was 17 when I started to get worse quickly. My doctors did another assessment and put me on the list for a transplant. My mom and I and my brother and sister go camping with friends for a few days every year after school is done, but I was too sick and had to go into the hospital. When they got back I was still in hospital and after mom had gone home, I was told that a heart was available and I called my parents to come to the hospital. I was going to have the operation the next morning. I was so happy, but I knew for me to have this operation, someone had passed away and I was sad for their family.
The operation was a success and everything was going great, but I was having pains in my stomach area so the doctors did another operation six days later and removed my appendix, but it was okay, so they looked further and found a collection of blood and removed it. It was good to have my appendix removed so I didn’t have a problem later. I did physio every day following the transplant and made many friends. I got out of the hospital about two weeks after the transplant and my mom and I stayed in London for three months till I was able to go home. I was strong enough again and I started school right away. I also wanted to play hockey again so four and a half months after the operation my doctors said it was okay to play. I was so happy. Nine months after my operation I was able to go with my school friends on a vacation to the Dominican Republic. I volunteer for The London Transplant Gift of Life Association now.
I just turned 19 and have my dream back of becoming a police officer and have just applied to colleges for this career. I am so grateful to my donor and family for their Gift of Life and the doctors and nurses who have made this possible.