Donation Day...

A few months ago I got a call off of the NHSBT during transplant week and was asked if I would mind taking part in something that my local hospital was thinking of doing. They told me that it  would require making a speech about me and my story and how organ donation has affected and changed my life. Now speaking in front of people is not something I'm used to or comfortable with but I thought "Hey, why not?" They also told me that Maxine would be there talking about her story as well which made me very happy because I hadn't seen Maxine since she had her transplant last year and she hadn't seen me since I had mine, so that in itself made it worth it :). 

We both turned up at 9:00 and went down to the place that they were holding the donation day only to be told we weren't talking till 12:00 but we were more than welcome to sit in and listen to the talks that were happening. I found it really interesting! They were talking about a lot of stuff that as the person who has waited for a transplant and received one you don't get to see, like how the donor families are dealt with on the the other side of it, how the retrieval of organs happens, how it's all co-ordinated, that type of stuff and it was really interesting. It kind of kept me distracted as well because I was honestly feeling so sick just waiting there to speak. I'm not a natural person in front of people I get very nervous and anxious at my PH conference I think I must have annoyed the hell out the people I was around because I was pacing in my room none stop trying to control my breathing I slept awfully, I'm just a big ball of nerves in those situations. This was no different. 

Luckily me and Maxine were both on the stage together so at least we didn't have to stand at a podium by ourselves so that was comforting. I had like a massive speech planned out and in the end I thought "screw it I'm just going to talk" because just chatting is what I'm good at, so that's what I did. It was quite nice to just tell my story. Then Maxine read out her speech and her's was far more emotional than mine ever could have been and was just a lovely thing to be able to hear. 

I'm not sure how much of a difference we could make in a room full of hospital staff but one woman did come up to Maxine and I after we had finished talking and answering questions who worked in ICU and told us that her daughter carried a donor car and even though she carried a donor card if her daughter happened to die and was eligible to donate she was adamant that she wouldn't and would override her wishes but after hearing Maxine and I talk she had changed her mind. Even if that is the only impact that we had that day, that made it so worth it because that to me is amazing that by simply just sharing a story you can change someones mind for, what I consider, the better. 

I'm not sure if I'll ever have to make a speech in front of people again but I am hoping after this experience and my PH conference experience it will at least make it easier if I do. Although I fear I will always be a nervous and anxious person before anything that involves talking to a room full of people lol. 

As always, thank-you for reading and chat soon. 

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