Live Life then Give Life, Please be an Organ Donor.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

5 Years

Hello World!

Today makes 5 years. 5 bonus years in this life. 

5 years ago I was laid up in the hospital with a CF exacerbation for the umteenth time. My typical routine was 2-3 weeks in the hospital and 1 week out. I weighed about 80lbs and my lung function was about 13-15% depending the day. I sat around on 8-12 liters of continuous flow oxygen with my heart rate resting at 130-140. I used a wheelchair for most of my traveling. I ate most of my food through a tube that ran almost 24/7. I needed help bathing, getting dressed. I could no longer drive. I was barely allowed to be alone. Transplant was really my only option.

I'm asked all the time about my donor, and whether I know who it is or not. A while back I wrote a letter to my donor's family. It took me a long time to write it. I have never heard back from them - and that's ok. I said what I needed to say and I left it up to them if they wanted any kind of connection. So I don't have any idea who my donor is. 

I am forever grateful for their decision. Their last selfless act in this life was my new beginning. While it's been a bumpy 5 years. Statistically speaking only 50% of lung transplant patients are still alive at 5 years. I don't like statistics. Statistically speaking I should have already died 3 times. I don't like when people tell me I can't do something - call it hard headed, call it courageous - I don't care. I'm not looking to be one of your statistics.

Because of my Donor's selfless act I've been able to do a lot of things I had written off. Getting married for 1, buying a house, the possibility of a family. While it's not all a bed of roses and I'm currently battling chronic rejection - I'm not giving up. I've gotten a taste of the good life and I'm not ready to give it up. I hope to be able to celebrate 10 years post transplant.

Everyday is a gift. I know, cheesy, but it's true. Your body is valuable, take care of it. A 'thank you' will never be enough - it never has been. Everyday I get to live this life is because someone else decided they wanted to live on once it was their time to go. So I plan to do that. Live on. Keep going. Even if my speed is a lot slower than others, forward is still forward. All my days also belong to my donor. Together we have accomplished great things. And together we will accomplish so much more.

Here's to you, my donor, and all you have done for me. 5 years.

Breathe Easy 


  1. Well written! Congratulations Jessie on handling such a difficult situation with courage and grace. We stand with you, grateful to your donor and donors family for their gift.
    Stay well and breathe easy. The Lancaster's

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