A new pancreas & kidney meant a new life for Becky15 December 2020
Within months of each other I was diagnosed with sight threatening diabetic retinopathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathy (painful nerve damage in my feet and legs), gastroparesis (nerve damage in the stomach), diabetic nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease) and hypo unawareness.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 12 and from the age of 16 I was always in and out of hospital, sometimes in life threatening situations. At the age of 27, the devastation that diabetes inflicts upon your body was beginning to show. Within months of each other I was diagnosed with sight threatening diabetic retinopathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathy (painful nerve damage in my feet and legs), gastroparesis (nerve damage in the stomach), diabetic nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease) and hypo unawareness.
My kidney function and hypo unawareness worsened after my second son was born in 2011 and a further pregnancy in 2013, which devastatingly didn’t work out, caused my body to go into complete renal failure. My life was threatened and my future looked very grim. We were told I needed to go onto the transplant waiting list for a simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant to ultimately save my life. Whilst waiting for my life saving miracle, my health gradually deteriorated and I became very poorly. My body was becoming more and more toxic and the diabetes was now uncontrollable. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t be the healthy and energetic mum that my two children deserved.
In January 2016, after 2 false calls and 15 months waiting, I received my second chance at life, the gift of a kidney and pancreas transplant. After over 20 years of diabetes I was free from the shackles of such a brutal disease and my kidney function was perfect. I had a future to look forward to thanks to the most amazing hero and his family who had agreed to give the most precious gift, the ‘gift of life’!
The emotions that such a gesture brings are indescribable and I am always looking to the sky to say a silent thank you, for every little thing or experience I have, for being incredibly healthy and now having a future with my family and friends. The transformation to my body and to my quality of life is just amazing! I’m now 38 and the opportunities for me are endless! I want to say ‘yes’ to everything! I am now able to enjoy family life to the full, exercise, go to concerts, go for bike rides with my boys, eat and enjoy foods that were once out of bounds for me (without testing my blood sugar and injecting insulin), work as a teaching assistant and finally plan our wedding. I also compete in The British Transplant Games and won gold medals in archery and the 100m sprint last year. I want to make my donor and his family proud and do the very best I can to look after the precious gifts he gave me!