So as you guy's know my blog is about me writing a post's to show you guy's the benefits of organ donation,so I figured that maybe I should let you all get a better understanding of why I needed a transplant in the first place and why I went on to have three liver transplants..
Before you start reading I do warn you it is a veryyy long post as you can imagine three transplants need a lot of explaining..
When I was younger I was like any other child,I had bouts of sickness but never anything drastic. I was never admitted to hospital for longer then a day case so there wasn't really any cause for concern. As I hit my teens,maybe around 15? I started suffering with episodes of fainting and extremely pale skin,I then got diagnosed with anemia and that was that. Me and my mum always joked around about how on day's I felt not great I looked like Lisa Simpson, I had a slight yellow tinge to my skin. One day we brought this up simply out of interest while I was at the GP's and they said "Well you just look pale to me? Just your anemia" And of course you listen to your doctor don't you?
That was that and for a while I thought all was okay,but when I started college and started working I was always tired,and I'm not talking about waking up and thinking aaa I need more sleep,Im talking getting like 13 hours sleep and still needing more. It got to the point I'd sleep through my alarms and miss college and sleep for close on the whole day. My parents just put it down to me not feeling settled at college and being a lazy teenager,but I knew something wasn't right as I was never like this before. I started loosing friends as I just didn't want to do anything at all,so I'd cancel plans to sleep instead. Then my health started getting noticeably worse,I was being sick,constantly felt dizzy and just not quite right and this is when I started suffering with what at the time seemed like depression. I was loosing everyone I loved because I felt drained all the time. I didn't want to do thing's with people all I wanted to do was sleep,and that just wasn't like me at all. I saw a pyhsciatrist and they thought like me it was depression as I was showing classic symptoms.. It all made sense really at the time.
Skipping forward a little bit I had a struggle and it meant I lost my placement at a nursery I was working at and from there everything happened in a matter of days..
I felt extremely unwell and again so so sleepy. My mum said that was that and I needed to go to the doctor's again as I was looking rather yellow and she was beginning to get concerned. When I
got there the nurse I saw was rude and undermining and made me feel like I was wasting her time "You look fine to me,But if your that worried we will do some fasting blood tests - come back in the morning!" After that I really felt clueless,there had to be something wrong for me to feel this rotten! I was having a night in with my dad that night as my mum and her friend were out,and I'd gone into the kitchen to get a drink and thats all I remember.. Next thing my dad was helping me up from the floor. I'd collapsed. Dad rang my mum and we went straight to a+e cutting it long and short they were extremely busy and they suggested if I already had a appointment at the GP's in the morning for bloods I was better off going home resting and going back in the morning - this was true so that's what I did.
The next morning I felt like death warmed up,I literally couldn't move I felt so tired and sick. My dad near enough had to carry me into the doctors and once I was there I lay across the seats in the waiting room - one for manners usually this was totally out of character.
When I went it to see the nurse,again I couldn't even sit up and I slouched down onto the chair,she took one look at me and I saw the worry in her face and she told me to get up onto the bed. She took my bloods and told me to stay where I was with my dad - and I was not to move. Me and my dad looked at each other both clueless as to what was going on.
She came back looking alarmed and told me the doctor wanted to see me straight away,so she helped me along to the doctors were I saw one of my regular doctors and she too looked concerned after she examined my stomach and asked questions she asked if it was okay if she got a second opinion. Now I was no medical know it all ( I say wasn't..) But even I knew that wasn't a good sign. In walked my childhood doctor,and that was the first time that we got a clue of what was coming. "Kate my dear,I'm extremely concerned. You are extremely jaundice,jaundice is when your skin goes yellow. Now it could be several things but with the pain in your stomach I'm a little worried about your liver so I'm going to send for an ambulance now and your too go straight to the hospital okay?" What. The Hospital? Why? There was so many questions going through my head but I was certain I didn't want to go by ambulance so instead he wrote me a note and I went by car but he made a very certain point I had to go,and he would be ringing the hospital to check I was there.
From there it was all very confusing I had tests for everything going but nothing was coming back responsive - the doctors where stuck on what the cause of the problem was. I was screened for all the hepatitis's as the week before I'd had a tooth pulled out and a new piercing so they thought maybe I'd got an infection from then but nothing! While in hospital I was very poorly and kept passing out had severe vomiting,continuous fatigue and my jaundice was getting worse. Thats when they told me "Miss Trevener,I'm afraid we still have no idea of what is happening and we will be sending you home the next few days once you recover" Although this was good news as I'd been in the hospital for 3 weeks at this point and I was 18 in a month,This news just pushed my family into finding out what was wrong and we refused for me to be sent home and requested some kind of second opinion. The decision was then made for me to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth hospital for further testing.
When I got the Q.E I underwent another level of testing which included X-Rays,Scans,More blood tests and those kind of things,and within three days they sat me down and said they needed to speak with me and my parents.
We sat in a room,were they introduced me to two lovely ladies and explained they were transplant coordinators at this point all I could think was 'well that's nice but why do they want to speak to us?' it sounds stupid but it was so out of the blue I honestly was clueless as to what this talk was about..
I forgot alot of what else they said after that because then came the big one. "Kate I'm afraid your in Liver Failure and we can't treat it as it is too far progressed so the only option for us and you is for you to under go transplantation." Like I say everything was just a white noise after that.
I thought Liver Failure only happened to people who abused there bodies,people who were alcoholics or drug users,but I was neither,I'd never mistreated my body yet I was on the transplant list? Why ?
Figures that I Had Auto - Immune Hepatitis. This is caused by a virus that hasn't yet been found at causing your body to attack itself,and my body just happened to choose the liver - the one organ that there is no other treatment but transplant.
This chat was a few days before my 18th Birthday,the day before my Birthday I was put on the list - the super urgent list at that as i had less then 48 hours to live.. and then 2 days later on the 19th of November, I had my transplant.
All sounds so easy but it was far from that.
My First Donor organ was been flown over from Ireland.
With it being November the weather was horrible was foggy and snowing,and the plane carrying the organ crashed.
I'm not going to type up everything about that as that is a whole new story but go to google and type in " Kate Trevener " and you'll find the countless news reports and magazine articles about it..
Sadly, after I was transplanted with that organ it went into necrosis - which in transplant terms simply means death. The organ basically stopped working in my body and bam I was back on the organ donor list. And 7 day's after transplant number 1 on the 26th November I was re transplanted. I had more complications this time round and I suffered with swelling to the brain so doctors were concerned on how I would be when I came of ventilation - but I was fine but had a very slow recovery this time round.
So after three months in hospital I was discharged! I then got on with my day to day life,but wasn't too long until I was having hospital admissions near enough every other week,and was suffering with rejection. You got it.. After 6 months it was becoming apparent that my liver was once again no longer at a point of being able to be helped with treatment so I was kept in hospital and underwent the transplant tests all over again. Again I was in hospital for months and found it so much harder emotionally this time round as I was scared that the fact I was never home meant my baby sister would forget me as she was only 1.
Cutting it short I had alot of difficulties,my kidneys were struggling,I had fluid around my heart and lungs and was suffering with night terrors,at least that's what I though they were,found out at a later point down the line I almost went into a coma,so time was very very close for me third time round. And then we got the miracle we wished for on the 4th February and an organ became available. The surgeon came up to the ward before I was sent down and prepped and he looked deflated.." Kate,we are stuck with a big problem. On closer inspection of the donor organ,we've found a cancerous mass in it. Now,we have two choices,while we are waiting for the test results on the mass we can either act as though we are going ahead with transplant and get you prepped and opened up,and if the results come back as it is a not spreading kind then we go ahead or if it's the worse news we close you up and bring you back up to the ward..But I must make it clear that if we do nothing you will die." Hearing my surgeon say those sentences was so difficult,I wish my other donor organs had of just worked and I just felt like my 'luck' had run out. Thankfully the results came back that the cancerous mass wouldn't spread so they transplanted me on the 4th of February.
Now my blood's are looking the best they ever been - and I do believe in third time lucky,but of course I wish it hadn't of had to be that way.
The bottom line is,if it wasn't for those selfless people I wouldn't be here, I'd be dead. My family would have had to lay me to rest at 18 years old,knowing there was nothing they could have done.
So this is what made me join the Organ Donor list myself long before I was sick,if I die why shouldn't I help someone else live? Help someone have a second shot at life,even if like me it only gives them a little while longer.
Many people say when you have organ failure your not living,you're simply existing,and this is so true. You feel to ill for anything or any one and you focus only on wishing that call comes to say they have you an organ. Once you have that organ inside you,the feeling of life is unexplainable. You almost can't believe at some point in your live you once felt this amazing as the months/years before all you have felt like is like you're an empty body,just existing.
I would never go down the route of trying to guilt trip people into joining the register as people have different opinions on it and we should all respect others opinions,but really guys. There are people of all ages from babies to middle aged people dying of organ failure from every possible background possible,and there is no other cure,money can't help,beauty cant help,and being popular cant help. But just joining the donor list and letting your family know your wish is to donate organs when you die will help and it will save lives,I'm just living proof of that.
So if there is anything your curious about wether you're waiting for a transplant or indecisive about joining the donor list please feel free to ask,but be sure to go online to the organ donor site!
It's so quick to join!
And don't forget you could even donate blood,as don't forget transplant patients require blood during transplant and for treatment so every little helps guys!
So yeah thats my health in a nut shell really.
Crazy I know..