On the sixth day of Christmas, my donor gave to me…a scar.
Or, to be more accurate, multiple scars.
My first transplant left me with one long, pink line that went horizontally across my stomach. Everyone would always say how neat and tidy it was, how beautiful it was.
The second transplant added to that scar – widening the once thin line. It also added another section to it and it now looked like a Mercedes logo! Still people would comment on how neatly it had healed and how beautiful it was.
The third transplant – well, this scar has quite a story. Any of you who are squeamish may want to skip a few lines!
The liver I was given was too big for my petite body, which meant that they couldn’t stitch me up again immediately. I was taken back into theatre three days after the initial operation, to close the wound. To cut a long story short, the wound didn’t close until four months later, after using many different dressings and treatments. In January of 2016, the scar was finally a scar and not a hole in my stomach!
It is not only the physical scars, but the mental ones too. They have been deepened and added to and changed shape, but I am thankful for them all. Each and every scar means something to me and has a story behind it that I cherish.
It took me a long time, and all my strength, to start to feel anything like myself again after this transplant.
The scars are deep, the wounds are still there. But each one reminds me of my donor and the life her and her family’s decision has allowed me to live.
I wouldn’t change a single thing about them. They are marks of gratitude.
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