Oli is still doing fantastically well, he's really flying. Mentally it's all very tough at this stage, whether you are progressing well physically or not, so please do consider sending a little card to make him smile.
On Monday I had lunch with a lady from the Donor Family Network. It was really nice to actually sit and chat with her and not just say a flying “hello” at an event. She lost her husband and decided to donate his organs, then later on got to work on the DFN to help support others who are in a similar position to her.
She very kindly bought with her two of the letters she has received from recipients, so I could see what kind of thing other people write. Reading them was an incredibly moving experience, you could really feel the emotion and desire to express significant gratitude behind the words.
I was talking to her about my transplantaversary, which is actually approaching quite fast. Obviously I am going to celebrate as it marked a new beginning for me, but at some point in the day I need to go somewhere quiet, on my own, and shed a little tear for the family who will be marking a very different anniversary in deed.
The DFN lady was telling us about their new project; it is to build a memorial garden at the NMA in Staffordshire, which will have four parts to it: For donors and donor families, for recipients and their families, for those who died waiting for transplant, and those who wanted to donate but were unable to (there are various reasons for this and apparently it’s more common than I would have thought). The garden sounds like such a wonderful idea, it will give people like me and everyone touched by transplant or organ donation somewhere to go and reflect. They are spending the next year fundraising solidly to make this project successful, and Live Life Then Give Life are very keen to get involved, so we will be promoting any ideas they throw our way. I am so very excited that my new lungs have given me the energy to do so much more. I love it!