Transplant Stories

Mimo Makgosi

By 2019-06-04 Aug 11th, 2020 No Comments

Mimo is a dynamic young woman who received a liver transplant in 2013. She is so full of life and such a great example of what transplant can do.
We’ve asked her to be our TELL AMBASSADOR, and she’s already represented us in a few ways. Here’s a little bit more about her:

1. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
I went on the waiting list in June of 2013, and received the gift of life in October.

2. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
All I remember was my frequent hospitalisations, and being reminded that I may not live long. Also having to drain the ascites every week. I would watch my stomach swell up, and I was just constantly in pain. My body was fighting my own liver as if it did not belong to me. The condition caused fatigue and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). My liver became enlarged due to inflammation, so it started pushing against my stomach wall causing it and my other organs to become very sensitive.

3. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
In October 2013, only 10 days after we were told my sister could not help me, I received a call to say that they had found a liver for me and I needed to be at the hospital as soon as possible. The time was 3.45 am. I remember because I kept looking at my watch thinking it was a dream. I wasn’t scared as such but I knew my life was just about to change, from living in pain to being lively again.

4. What is life like now, after the transplant?
After the transplant, my life and how I perceive it changed completely. I don’t complain anymore because I know what it feels like to be close to death and all you wish for is life. I work on today because I know tomorrow is not promised. I often hear people say ‘you only live once’. That’s not true. You live every day and die once, you just need to make sure that you make every day worth living.
I know that ‘perfect’ is not the right word to use, but it’s close. My life journey since the transplant has been amazing. I do get sick but it’s usually minor and normally because I come into contact with someone who is sick. I am on immune-suppression medication that I will have to take for the rest of my life.

5. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
It takes patience and a positive mind while waiting for your gift of life. Never give up and take your doctor’s orders – they know best.
Always be prepared – your next call could be a life saver!

6. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
In some black cultures there is a saying: ‘We want to bury our person in full.’ This deters many people from becoming an organ donors, but we need more donors to save more lives. I always say don’t take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here on earth. I was saved by someone I will never get to know, but I know that person lives on, as he is living in me.

7. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?