Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's been a tough 24 hours.

A friend of mine got his call for Transplant back in September. He had a complicated recovery (didn't alarm me due to my history) and I grew quite close to his partner, chatting to her as often as possible and spending the day with her when I was up for Clinic.

New complications sprang up a few weeks ago - septicaemia and infection in the lungs. With confidence I reminded his partner that I'd taken a very similar track indeed, and a few weeks later after scaring my family (and the team) to pieces, I was back on the mend.

Naive confidence perhaps, as yesterday I got the horribly sad news that he hadn't made it.

This tragedy is not about me in any way shape or form, but this blog is so I'm going to be self-centred on it as is my privilege as the author.

The mixture of emotions swimming round is immense. I have grown pretty close to his lovely partner and imagining what she is going through breaks my heart. It reminds me how lucky A and I are to have celebrated our first wedding anniversary in November. How lucky my family and I are to have celebrated a busy, noisy, rowdy Christmas together. How lucky I am to have just marked my 2nd year anniversary with my new lungs.

And of course, that feeling which always accompanies the loss of someone in a similar position; survivors guilt. The futile but natural ponderings on why I survived and he didn’t. There’s no rhyme or reason, I’m fully aware of that, but it doesn’t stop the questions.

Being a transplant survivor and campaigner, I am self-conditioned to put my faith into transplantation being the answer. Of course it is the answer, well the only possible one, for people such as myself who will otherwise die. But that doesn’t make it foolproof. Transplantation is a risky business; it’s a complex procedure which is why it’s only used when all other avenues have been exhausted. But it offers a hope; the chance of a new chapter with renewed health.

It’s a strange and helpless place I find myself in. When I lose a friend pre-transplant, my answer is to throw myself even harder into campaigning and raising awareness. But this was sadly a transplant which was not a success. A rare but devastatingly hard scenario to face.

In amongst my self-wallowings, my thoughts are with his family, his friends, and his gorgeous wife. And all my warmest wishes go to them during this very sad time.


Aunty P said...

I'm so sorry to hear your news. But as you know with transplants there are no guarantees but that doesn't make it any easier when tragedy strikes. It's not your fault, or anyone elses. Sh** happens. At least he did have that chance and maybe a few more weeks with his family. Keep campaigning for those who don't. lots of love.Px

Lorraine said...

No-one will ever understand the in's and out's of life - why some survive and some don't - only god know's that. I firmly believe that from the day you are born your life is mapped out for you and when your number is up, it's up - it doesn't matter who you are, where you are or what you do. You must continue to live your life as you have done - helping other's and continually offering support and friendship to those who need it, because you are you and you are extra special. Jake will remain in all our hearts for as long as we have good memories. xxx

Gilly said...

Its only natural that you feel such things, you wouldn't be human if you didn't, but you are a great person and 'great' as in one of lifes GREATS...and you serve as a great comfort to everyone the crosses on your pathway, as I am sure that you will mean so much to Laura and Jake too

Much love to you, and thinking of you and Laura ((((xxxxx)))))

Gilly xx

fairenuff said...

I'm so sorry you lost a friend. I am thinking of his family.

suzie said...

Bless you Em, I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling with all the emotions that are going on in your head. Be kind to yourself, as kind as you always are to others, and just carry on being the special person we all know and love.

I don't have any words of wisdom, so I'm just sending the biggest (((HUG))) and all my love.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Em, it's such sad news :( My thoughts are with his family and friends, sending lots of love xxx

Jac said...

I know only too well about survivor guilt - but we can't think like that. There are reasons for everything that we can't possibly understand. You are making the most of your new life which is the important thing.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear your sad news Emily - keep up the campaigning to give more people the chance - even if it is in vain.
Lindy xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Words never seem to cover the range of emotions at times like these. Its is a long difficult road, having to watch loved-ones loose their fight. I also had a very long stay in ITU after my transplant, and I luckily survived. I also grew close to others that have not been so lucky. Emily, don't loose sight of the fantastic work you have and are doing. Your an inspiration and with your gift of life you are doing everything you can and supporting/helping many. There is never an answer to why? Stuff happens and we all hopefully have loved ones to help us through the tough times. Life happens, sometimes its great, other times its hard! Lots of hugs Dawn:)xx

Anonymous said...

so sorry to hear about the loss of yet another friend thoughts and prayers to their family and friends..may they rest in peace....

take care Elaine x