Marilyn Rampersad, aged 32 from Cape Town, is featured in today’s #WaitingWednesday post.
1. When were you diagnosed with organ failure and which organ are you waiting for?
I have Pulmonary hypertension, a congenital heart defect as well as Einsenmenger Syndrome. I was first told I would need a transplant in mid-June 2017, but officially diagnosed with organ failure and list on the 19th February 2020. I am currently waiting for a heart and bi -lateral lung transplant.
2. How does your current health affect your lifestyle?
My health has affected my life style a lot, but I am a go-getter. I just keep positive and keep my faith in Jehovah and Jesus Christ for their guidance and protection and I take each day as it comes. I now have a portable Oxygen Concentrator (Thanks to the Transplant team @Groote Schuur Hospital) and I am able to get around with less effort.
3. How long have you been on the waiting list?
I was board approved on the 19th February 2020, today marks a total of 175 days .
4. What are you most excited for after your transplant?
Being able to breathe pain-free, I think I actually am looking forward to running on the beach and playing in the park with my kids, like a normal mummy and doing all the adventurous stuff with my husband and kids like hiking and visiting different countries as currently I am unable to do so.
5. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
I understand it can be hard to think about what’s going to happen to your body after you die, let alone donating your organs and tissue, as personally I didn’t even think of it until I was made aware through my needs. But being an organ donor is a generous and worthwhile decision that can be a lifesaver. I think South Africans are too afraid to sign up as organ donors as they have an impression that their body’s will not be intact for funeral and burial purposes, and they are afraid that if they sign up they will be called at anytime to donate. This is due to different customs and traditions, and lack of education.
6. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
That one can take up the traits of the donor, in my case maybe start loving someone else, as I am awaiting a heart as well. This is just a silly myth and I definitely don’t believe it, I’ve assured my husband Dinesh Rampersad that after transplant I will still only love him.