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Diana's Journey

By Share Your Wishes, Jan 18 2018 12:44PM

Please meet Diana as she tells you her Life and Liver Transplant Story - to which she dedicated to her Hero, her lifesaver - Helen.

“In 2008 at 45 I was doing my nursing training, I then sadly lost my dad and 2 weeks afterwards I started to feel tired. I went to the doctor and he suggested that I have a couple of blood tests but he thought it was probably stress.

I left it a week or so before I went but when I did go for the blood tests I was immediately admitted to the Royal Derby Hospital that day. Tests followed by more tests but still no answers.

Two weeks later, on a Wednesday, I went for scan. That evening they said I needed a transplant and I was blue lighted to Birmingham Queens hospital for a emergency liver transplant... “Wow - wasn’t expecting that ‘’. I was put on the Super Urgent List (this meant I found out later that I had 72 hours to live!).

I was so scared, miles away from home and all alone. Friday came and they said we have a liver. Following a test later that day they told me it was too big and wouldn’t fit and they would keep looking. This was a very scary time as they said my liver would only last a couple of days.

Saturday came and again they said we have an organ. I didn’t really get too optimistic.

Suddenly I realised that someone was losing his or her life for me to live. This really messes with your head, but due to toxins in my brain from my liver not working properly this didn’t really hit me fully till post surgery.

It took me a year and half to get over the numerous stays in hospital, with an incision hernia and ascites and having to have a stent put in.

When I came out in February 2009 I couldn’t walk, open a bottle of milk or get of the sofa without help. I had lost all my muscle, but I worked hard and my aim was to take part in sport again.

I started swimming with a rubber ring. Months prior I had found 50 lengths easy. Next I tried my hand at cycling. I bought an old bike of eBay and did the race in Bath in 2010. I got lapped and said I would never get on a bike again...But guess what I did!!

Next I then got picked to go to the World Transplant Games in 2011. This was the start of serious training as here I got a bronze medal in cycling. This just goes to show with a positive attitude and a lot of hard work anything is possible.

Next stop was South Africa for the World Transplant Games in 2013. The training went up to another level as I was determined to get a Gold medal. This was not only to promote organ donation but to do my organ donor proud to say to them that signing the organ donor register would show what a difference it could do to someone’s life. This time I achieved a Gold medal and it in front of both my mum and daughters. I will always be in awe of my hero my donor. She gave me the chance of 5 extra years with my daughters.

Then in 2015 in Argentina I went on to win 2 Gold medals in cycling again.

In 2017 The World Transplant Games were held in Malaga, so not so far to travel..Jess my daughter was with me here. It was so hot we were racing in temperatures over 30 degrees that was unbearable.

But I went on to win 2 Gold medals in the Time Trials and Road Race which was a hard race. But this time I did not only achieve this for Helen my Hero, but also for the amazing Alice. Alice was my young friend, who had lost her fight earlier last year. Alice and I always said we wanted to ride in the games together but this sadly was not to be but on that day Alice was firmly in my sights and my thoughts.

I owe my Life to Helen my Hero and my family for their support.”

#ShareYourWishes and by you having that conversation you could save and change many lives.

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