2. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
Difficult. It was not possible to visit the toilet or take a shower unaided.
3. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “the call” for your transplant?
This was a Wednesday morning in February 2008. I was required to be at the Johannesburg Hospital by 6pm that day. I have never been more excited in my life… my wife looked like “Bambi in the headlights”… in what seemed like a flash and a blur I had arrangements made by my secretary, my mother, my wife, my son at school, my friends in Johannesburg all sorted and I was at Cape Town International Airport in a wheel chair asking an Italian visitor if I could push in front of him – my wife was getting clearance for oxygen… for the last day! I didn’t know if I’d ever see my family again… I knew I’d be coming back to Cape Town one day in the future or “going home” and I was ready for either option.
4. What is life like now after the transplant?
After eleven years I have almost forgotten I was ever ill, ever short of breath, ever at physio every day of my previous life. I know I’m very lucky, but truth be told… I hadn’t thought that there would ever be a problem, I had handed it over entirely to Jesus my Savior… long ago. I heard Angus Buchan praying for me on the radio… I knew I was in the best hands I could be in ever.
5. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Give yourself a fighting chance. If you are over or under weight… fix it. Prepare yourself, study, plan a future for after the transplant. Make a pact with yourself to follow the instructions you are given by your transplant team exactly as they say. Take your medicine like a Swiss Watch every day, never miss… EVER.