Saturday, October 2, 2010

Transplant Call is 7 my Lucky Number?

  • Just after I had finished the previous post on this blog and was in the process of posting it to the blog, the phone rang.Number Unknown! the time was 1.37am, I knew who it was!
  • The still the panic was enough for me to forget which button to press to answer my phone and I sent the call to voice mail.The voice was familiar,but terrifying at the same time with all the emotions it provoked in me and a flashbacks of the previous six calls crowded into my mind.
  • The transplant coordinator from Harefield Hospital told me that the offer was from a non heart beating donor and it was early in the process. It was a long wait but by the next day 9.30am I had found out that my seventh visit for a possible lung transplant was to end unsuccessfully for me.
  • Hopefully other organs and tissues would be suitable for others. Lung deteriorate very quickly compared with other organs.I have so much respect for the donor and their brave family who at a tragic time where kind enough to offer me hope for a new life and I would like to thank them whoever they are,and offer my sympathy for their loss.
One thing that did come to mind from this call was the understanding that people have of the transplant procedures and what is involved so I thought I would add a bit of information about transplantation.
What sort of transplantation are there for lungs
  • Beating Heart Donor
This is when the donor is declared brain dead and organs are taken in a operation performed while heart is still beating maybe involving several teams of surgeons.The most likely cause of this sort of situation would be traffic accidents involving head injury,stroke or cerebral accident or other forms of brain injury.
  • Non heart beating Donor
In these cases the donor is not brain dead but is not able to survive off life support.A decision is reached to withdrawn from life support usually by relatives and doctors or as a result of a living will.
When this happens the donor will have to expire within a set period of time for lungs that is 90min any longer and the organs are too damaged by the process to use
  • Live lobe Transplant
Since the first living-donor lung transplant was performed in 1990, only about 150 have been performed.
For the most part, recipients of living donor lung transplants have been children and small adults, who have a difficult time getting a cadaveric lung of the right size. A majority of the recipients have been cystic fibrosis patients
Finally a few questions that people ask me:
  • When are you having the transplant?
I wish I knew when it would happen but not possible.
  • Are you still waiting?
Yes that is why I am breathless see above
  • When you get your lungs you'll be cured won't you?
The truth is that you swap one condition for a new one with the hope that the new condition offers you a better quality of life. A good result I have been told is seven good years 10 years is average.Canadian woman CF heart lung recipient has 21years but that is rare I believe the British record is 19years.
  • It is amazing what they can do now, you will soon be fixed up now you are on the list?
It is amazing what can be done if the resources are available! but a fact to remember is that 3 people die each day on the list waiting because of lack of organs and organs are wasted because relatives refuse to allow organs to be taken from their loved ones. The level of this happening is still too high, Organs don't go to heaven
  • What are the risks?
The risks are high the national survival rate is about 77% at one year.
50% after five years (half the people who have a lung transplant will be dead after five years)
  • How many people are waiting? (31.8.10)
  1. - 245 people were registered for lung transplant
  2. - 64 people received lung transplant
(National Transplant Database activity for the period 1 April 2010 - 31 August 2010)

Saturday, 02 October 2010
Since 1 April 2010
  • 477 people have donated organs
  •  an additional 1,232 people have donated corneas
  •  1,641 people have received the gift of sight
  •  1,274 people have received transplants
  •  8,026 people are still waiting for transplants

So that is all I have today as it took a long time to find out the details for this blog I have added another post more in depth about the seventh call on the bar at the top if you are interested.So it  seems 7 is not my lucky number.
  • Number 8. Don't the Chinese think that is lucky? Right that is it then 8 will be my lucky number now!
  • Finally I thought I would add a link to a story I read today on the Mail On-line make sure to watch the video at the end of the story it is the best reason I have found to sign the register!!!

Then anyone who wants to can sign the donor register here


  1. October, 2010 20:10

    Hiya Mark
    Thanks for following me on Twitter...I've just read through your "7th Call".
    Your head must be all over the place...I can still remember my first and last call vividly!!
    I'm 3 & 1/2 yrs post TX now and doing OK...If you want, you can always find me around and about and ask me anything.
    Sending you lots of positive thoughts and blessings
    Love &Hugz xxx

    PS...I'm on faceBook too xx

  2. Thank you for your comment:) Yes my head is all over the place I am finding it hard to see past the process to the goal.It is nice to hear that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that you are doing well.Thank you so much for the positive thoughts and the offer of questions answered:)I am sure this will be long road but feel like I am just on the pavement at the moment
    Tweet with you soon
    All the best


Thank You :-)