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Donor Family Letter

Posted Mar 15 2010 12:00am
What's up bitches!

So here's an update. My chest, in the lower lung region, where my ribs are, has been hurting since thurs. baaaad. I tried to wait until Today (monday) to go see the doctors in clinic about it. But, I was getting worried and it was hurting so bad. Everyone kept telling me I needed to go on and get it checked out. So I relented. I went to the ER last night in Chapel Thrill. Luckily, Ken called them ahead of time and told them I was coming. Thanks Ken! So it didn't take near as long as I thought it would.

First of all, the car broke down on the way to the hospital. We were about 20 mins away. BOOOOOO! So, while Bo and Mom waited for my step dad to get there from home, I was transported to the hospital by ambulance. (non emergency, they didn't rush or put the siren on!) I finally got there around 6pm. We left home around 2pm.

So anyway, once there, they put in an IV and took some blood. Then I had a chest xray done. Everything was fine. So, the doctor said that it must just be bruised rib/pulled muscles from coughing so much since my bronch. Whew! I am so relieved that's all it was. She gave me some pain medicine through the IV while I was there and sent me home with a script for Oxycodone.
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Changing the subject: I finally wrote out my donor letter on paper. It is in the envelope and ready to give to the social worker on Friday when I go to clinic. I'm really nervous. I hope they like it and write me back! Below, I'm typing out a copy of it for you to read. Let me know what you think!

Here it is
To my Donor Family
There are not enough words to fully express the depth of my appreciation for the gift I've received. In your time of grief you were selfless enough to think of helping others. Because of your decision to honor your loved one's wishes, I was blessed with the gift of two new lungs.

On June 21, 09, I received both lungs from your loved one. My name is Meghann and I'm 29 years old. I suffered from a lung disease called Bronchiectasis for the past 17 years. The disease was the after-effect of a devastating staph-pneumonia that I contracted when I was 12 years old.  I almost didn't make it, but after a month in the hospital, I was able to return home. Unfortunately, both of my lungs were left permanently scarred.

Shortly after, in July of '93, I was told that I needed a double-lung transplant. And that without one,  I couldn't live longer than 2 years. After many tests, I was officially listed for a double-lung transplant. I lingered on the list for around 3 1/2 years. I lived with oxygen 24 hours a day. When I was 16, I made the decision to take myself off the list until after graduation. Because I was healthy enough, the transplant team agreed.

After H.S. graduation, I wanted to go straight to college. After meeting with the transplant team again, they agreed that I was still healthy enough to stay unlisted. So, like the rest of my friends, I went off to college. It wasn't easy living on campus, away from home, especially having to use oxygen all the time. But, I pushed through and finally graduated in Dec. '03. After meeting again with the transplant team, I was told that I was TOO healthy to be relisted. I was O.K. with that, because by that time, I was used to living with my disease and scared of the unknown future of lung transplant. I went on with my life as it was. Four years later, things changed.

After a year and a half of complications with my breathing and C02 retention in my lungs, in July of '08 I was once again placed on the list for a double-lung transplant. By this time, I was tired of living with my disease and the anticipation of a new life heavily outweighed my fear. This time, I waited only 11 months for my transplant.

It has now been almost 9 months since the transplant surgery. My life has c hanged dramatically in this short period of time. I'm no longer attached to an oxygen tank and can walk around freer of worry. I can finally sleep peacefully. And for the first time since I bought him, I can take my dog on a walk around the neighborhood. Our first walk together was one of the greatest moments of my life. I can breathe easily now and fully appreciate life in a way that most people never get to experience. I owe all of this; every breath, every new experience and adventure, to my donor and your family.

Four days after I was released from the hospital, I celebrated my 29th birthday. It was the best birthday ever. It was also the first time my friends and family had seen me breathing without oxygen in 17 years. I have so much to be grateful for.

Since my transplant, I've been making plans for my future. The future i wouldn't have if it wasn't for your loved one's decision to donate their organs. I'm taking my time and appreciating life for the wonderful gift that it is. I'm finally gaining a true sense of self and an independence that I've never experienced before. I continue to be in awe of this blessing I've received and pray that I do my donor proud. I finally have my health, my life back after 17 years.

I know that nothing can erase the pain of losing your loved one. But, I sincerely hope that hearing my story can help to ease your heartache. If only a little. I continue to keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. And, I thank God every night that I was fortunate enough to have been on the receiving end of your generosity. Thank you for my life. Thank you for my future. From the bottom of my heart and with all the breathe in "our" lungs, THANK YOU!

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So, that was the letter to my donor family. Tell me what you think! I'm off like a prom dress....for now. :) The picture below is of me in the ER last night. Enjoy!











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