On our fifth journey to Harefields The night was cold .My wife was at work for her second night shift of the week my son had just gone to bed, my daughter being tired had gone to bed some time earlier
The mobile rang....Unknown number confirmed my suspicions. It was 1.15am and the voice on the other end said Hello Mark it is a transplant coordinator from Harefields we have a possible offer of organs. He asked if I was feeling better now after being turned down on the last visit due to my blood results. I told him that I had, that afternoon, had the results of a full blood count done by my GP surgery that showed a normal range of values and a reduction in the abnormal white cell count that had been a problem a eight days earlier.
No matter how many times you get the call it has the power every time of reducing you to a jelly. I shakily rang Liz and called out to the kids that the call was from Harefields. My son was quite good having just gone to his room but my daughter who had been woken in a shocked state was sobbing wrapped in a blanket.
Here we were eight days later on the road again.I packed up the hospital bag and got my medication together and when Liz got back everything was ready for us to go ,I was so glad that I had got some more Oxygen delivered earlier in the week and got the new bottle ready to take with us
The journey to Harefields was quiet and seemed to go frighteningly quickly soon we were pulling into the entrance of the hospital.
This was the worse time, while you wait, that is the time you start to think. Time ticked by slowly but tension continued to build there is no way to immunize yourself to the feelings that well up in you. You are happy when people come to do things like examinations and anything to take your mind of thinking about what is to happen even if that means that you are nearer the end of the process.
The anaesthetist turned up and talked with me and then the surgeon, they were happy not to x-ray me and the consent form had been signed the last visit so we waited some more...the nurse came to tell me that the coordinator had rang and asked that I shower and get shaved so things seemed to be moving towards a positive conclusion
When I got back to the room I thought this might be happening now and the fear welled up again.
I took some breaths and made a effort to relax now that the final procedures were concluding and wondered what it would be like to say goodbye to the family as they took me to the opreating theatre?
The surgeon and the transplant coordinator came back to the room.
I looked at their faces and knew that the news was not good. They said that the organs were not good enough for transplant and my heart sank, my hopes for a new life dashed.
After I heard the news I quickly changed out of the hospital gown as I needed the comfort of my own clothes to feel centered after
the disorientating experience I had been though I looked at Liz and she
looked so tired I cuddled her and told her I loved her and we left after
a cup of coffee into the throngs of traffic fighting to get to work in
the morning rush hour we got back home at about 10am with the promise
of no more calls till I called Harefields the following week as we
wanted the weekend of Mothers day for the family. When I got home only
then did I notice the name labels still around my wrist I cut them off
before falling into a deep sleep.