Thursday, 2 January 2014

A years review

Here's an article I wrote for the express and echo.

AT THE start of this year, I would never have thought it would turn out the way it did.

I set aside my goals for the year. Put together 10 charity hospital packs to go to chronically ill people, buy a house and concentrate on my career and what I wanted to do now I had settled in to life with new lungs. I was working part time at Next, teaching fitness pole dancing and in the best shape of my life.

But things didn’t go to plan, my life did a 360 and I was back at square one.

After a belated honeymoon, I came back to England knowing my health was declining. I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with chronic rejection.

Nothing could have prepared me for the fight I would have to face and the pain I would endure.

Back on oxygen and non invasive ventilators, I knew time was running out quickly.

By the end of July I was told my only option, a second double lung transplant, was not a possibility. Around me my world was falling apart and I tried to act dignified in the face of my death, knowing my family would be the ones left with the pain of it in the end.

I grieved for the dreams I would never live – my house, my career – but asked my mum and husband Stuart to finish one of my goals for me, the hospital packs, while I tried to do as much as I could in and out of my exhausted haze.

In the corridors of the hospital conversations were being had, phone calls made – my team still working very hard to give me another chance.

The next day I was told I would go back on the list but with little time left and high antibodies the chances seemed impossible. The following day they were proved otherwise – I had a set of lungs. I went down to surgery the next day and received my second double lung transplant.

I could never have imagined these events at the beginning of the year, but even though my life took an unexpected turn still my dreams and goals are coming true.

Recovering well, I bought my first house with my husband Stu, we have renovated and decorated and now have a home; a place to live, love and to enjoy our lives together.

I received an award from the Express and Echo for hero of the year showing me that my campaigning is being recognised and hopefully making a difference. I finished the hospital packs and they were sent out to 10 deserving people.

I was able to give them a small piece of happiness in their dark times and I’m truly humbled that I could do that.

One of them was a great friend and fellow advocate for the charity I work for, he had supported me through my rejection as he was also in rejection.

Sadly, he passed away before he received the pack. In my life this is a common occurrence, saying goodbye to friends too young to die, who have suffered greatly in their lives.

So although my life continues and I am truly blessed, this year has shown me that my campaigning is still vitally important as although I was lucky still my friends are dying around me.

I look forward into the new year, hoping 2014 may bring a dramatic difference to people waiting on the transplant list. I’m starting to make new goals and hoping that 2014 will be the year I can make my way into a career that fulfils my ambition and lust for life.

All thanks to a stranger I will never know, a person I can never thank. But I send my thanks up to heaven for them and for my first donor.

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Looking forward to seeing you reach even more goals this year!

  2. Very happy new year to you Kirstie & your
    entourage! I hope you're ok!
    I always follow your fighting with admiration!

  3. Well done Kirsty...I follow your Twitter every day and as a CF parent you give me such hope and inspiration. So thank you for all that you do and are doing to improve and promote CF and Organ donation. x

  4. You are special Kirstie you continue to inspire me and carry on. I do not have CF but a lifelong illness and it can get stressful and debilitating. Whatever happens to me, I have lived my life, I hope very much that you carry on as you are, an inspiration and a hope for many that their dreams will come true and they will be given a chance as well to live out their life in happiness and love. You are the best Kirstie and I wish you all the luck in the world to carry on beating the odds, Bless You. xx