I sit there on my sofa knowing a decision is being made about me at this very moment. A room full of people who’ve only briefly met me (if at all) have the power to make the biggest ruling about my life. To them it will be about facts and results and statistics. It will be analysing, discussing, scrutinising. It will be strict, it will be black and white, it will be ‘Do I fit the criteria or not’. I will just be a case to them, they won’t be thinking about me as a person with a life. They won’t be thinking about what their answer will mean to me. They won’t be thinking about the consequences of saying no. They won’t be thinking about me sitting on that sofa wondering.
I’m wondering about what they are saying. I’m wondering what my results are showing. I’m wondering what they know that I don’t. I’m wondering what their decision will be.
I wash the pots, still wondering. I chop up my salad, still wondering. I talk to the cleaner, still wondering. I cuddle Lottie, still wondering. I might be functioning, speaking, working, chatting, laughing… but today at the back of my mind, half of me is worrying and waiting and wondering. The phone rings, my stomach goes, I literally can’t breathe. But it’s someone else. I chat, I laugh, I listen.. but I’m still wondering.
And then the call comes. It is time to know the answer. I hear her voice and I can’t breathe, I feel sick, I sit down, I start to shake. And then she talks. And I don’t want to know. I don’t want to hear the answer. This is final, this is the result, this is either my second chance or my death sentence. I’m not ready to know… but I have to listen and be brave.
That phone call was probably the scariest one of my life. But thankfully she said YES – I can go on the transplant waiting list for new lungs at Harefield Hospital. I am so happy and relieved that they have agreed to list me. An enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know how lucky I am to be given this opportunity as many people get turned down for a range of reasons. Afterwards I caught my breath, and still shaking I immediately rang Phil, who came straight home. We celebrated with a drink in the local pub! For the next few days, I felt exhausted and ill, the emotions of the past few weeks finally catching up with me. I need to return to Harefield in the next week or so to do some final jobs and meet some more people, and then I will be officially put on the list. I therefore assume that I will be listed at the start of July.
I know that I may never get lungs in time (everyday three people die waiting for organs on the list). But now I have hope. Every day, however bad it may be in the future, I will always have hope. And with hope you can carry on.