In the spirit of Women’s Day this past weekend, we share Tersia Smit’s story today. She lives on a farm called Moorddrift, 10km outside Mokopane.
1. Which organ/tissue did you receive, and in what year?
Complete liver transplant in 2005.
2. How long were you on the waiting list for your organ?
3. What was life like before the transplant? How did you spend your days?
A life of being constant tired, no energy, nauseous, itching, chills, fever, swollen abdomen, yellow eyes and yellow skin. I spent my days sleeping/resting in bed.
4. Describe the emotions experienced when you received “The Call” for your transplant?
I was extremely weak and adopted the attitude of what will be will be. A little overwhelmed.
5. What is life like now, after the transplant?
I can’t compare. A life filled with gratitude towards my Creator, my donor and donor family, my medical team, my husband and family.
6. What advice would you give patients on the waiting list?
Never give up hope. Stay mentally strong, be patient and hold on to your faith. Miracles do happen.
7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
Not enough people know enough about organ donation. We need to talk about it more. We need to tell people to speak to their families about their death wishes. We need to encourage more people to register as organ donors. We need to speak about religion and different culture objections. We need to educate more.
8. If you could describe transplant in one word, what would it be?
A MIRACLE from above/ A GIFT of life/ GRATEFUL second chance.