Transplantation

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"My transplanted organ is still working like Swiss clockwork". Transplant experience

19 years have passed since the transplant. My experience with transplantation has been pretty good over the years; thankfully the only difficult step was during the first year.

The difficulty was caused by my poor health at the time of the surgery. Since then, I have not had any problems and have only had routine testing for nearly 20 years.

A donated organ is truly a gift from someone that you will never meet. It is a gift not only for the fact of receiving an organ but, in my case, also because it came four days before my birthday and if this organ had not appeared in that timeframe, I would have never celebrated my 10th birthday…  and now I am 29.

Normally neither the donor nor the recipient have any information about each other, but in this case I got to know some details: he was a child a bit older than me, about 11 years old but it seems that his height, weight and constitution were similar to my body.

Before the transplant

Lucas before the transplant

Apparently he was playing with his father in a park when he fell on his back. He didn’t die instantly but he passed away that same afternoon. His family agreed to donate all of his organs without thinking reason, and because of this decision, I can live and a part of him, in this case his liver, lives with me.

It's something that cannot be paid with money and surely I will never be able to repay what he gave me, because he died so I could live.

That afternoon someone from the hospital called my parents to tell them that they had a potential donor. My parents knew I hated hospitals, so they made an excuse to take me to downtown Madrid, Spain. We arrived at the hospital, and as soon as I saw my doctor I knew what was going on. Upon my arrival they had prepared everything for the transplant.  I still remember that night: I was shaking and my feet were frozen. Eventually, I got some sleep, and early in the morning I was transplanted.

The last thing I remember before the surgery was my aunt and my mother, standing in front of the restricted area door.

After the transplant

Lucas after the transplant

I had to spend a month in the intensive care unit, which was pretty difficult, especially since most of the time I was there alone.  I do not know how things work today but at that time the rules of the hospital only allowed one person per visit.

I was very weak at that stage and I could not move, all the while doctors were doing all sorts of things to me. Seeing that I could not break those chains day after day caused me great distress.

Finally, the day arrived to leave intensive care. I was transferred to a regular room where I spent another month because my body was atrophied due to all the time I had spent immobilized. 

I had to learn to walk again, which was really hard since the first week I could not even get out of bed and stand on my feet.

However, since I left the hospital everything has been perfect with the transplant so far. Only in the first year I had to go to the hospital every two weeks for analysis of my TX levels. I then increased the time between visits until they were 6 months apart, as they are today.

As my surgeon says, my transplanted organ is still working like Swiss clockwork almost 20 years after the operation.

You can follow Lucas on Twitter, on Youtube, on Facebook and, of course, on his blog!

Know more about him!

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