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My Organ Transplant Makes Me No Different From Anybody Else

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Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always known that I was different in some way or another from other “normal” children around me. I had to go back and forth to hospital — a lot — for regular checkups, countless blood tests and ultrasound scans, not because I had anything dangerous inside me, but because when I was 6 months old, I was the youngest person in the UK to be the recipient of a liver.

I’m a liver transplant patient two times over now, not because my parents drank or smoked too much. In fact, we never really ever found out why I was born cryptogenic, and I’m still considered to be a medical marvel to this very day.

You may think that being an organ donor recipient has affected me in some way. You’re partly wrong but also partly right. Regular hospital checkups and about a “bazillion” blood tests are the norm for me. And it has been since I was 6 weeks old and will continue to be that way until I leave this earth one day — very long into the future.

From the ages of 5 to 16, I had to miss quite a few school days and field trips due to countless infections, colds and viruses because I was immune suppressed. And yes, this made me upset sometimes, but being immune suppressed didn’t affect the way I made friends in any way. I managed to have my first relationship in my teens, and I also managed to get into college to study child care, health and social care.

Living with a transplanted organ makes me no different than anybody else. Although this makes my life a little bit different from my own friends and family, I still try as hard as I can every single day. I’ve been told I’ll be able to have my own children (just with some extra help) with my partner one day. And other than keeping up with regular hospital visits, flu jabs and the odd liver biopsy, it’s all worthwhile. If it weren’t for my two organ donors, I simply wouldn’t be here and to receive the gift of life — not once but twice. They’re the two best gifts I could possibly have right now.

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 15, 2017
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