Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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There is no sense

Posted by Oli on Saturday 3rd May, 2008

I’ve been pretty lax at blogging this week, mostly because I’ve not been feeling too great.  The chest pains aren’t going away and the doc’s can’t put their fingers on what it is, other than to say it’s nothing too much to worry about, which is a encouraging.

I was going to blog about how tough the week’s been and how I’m now pretty rubbish at being ill, so out of practice have I become.  But yesterday something changed all that and put my week into perspective.

A month or so back I delivered to a friend of mine a portable oxygen concentrator which I’d kindly had donated to me by Emily after she had her transplant.  It’s something of a lucky concentrator (called Travelair Claire, christened by Em), which has seen 3 previous owners receiving new lungs and passing it on to a friend who needs it more than them post-op.

Luck, though, runs out, with no more brutal demonstration than last night, when I learned that my friend, Sam, known to most of the CF community as Princess Sam, had died yesterday afternoon.

Sam, like me before and like many still, was waiting for a lung transplant that never came.  When I found out I felt completely numb.  How does the world decided who gets what?  Why have I been lucky enough to be given a second chance at life when someone just as deserving doesn’t.  What makes me so special that I get to try again, whilst Sam had just 22 years on this earth to fit in all she could?

Every year nearly 500 people just like Sam die whilst waiting for a transplant that would save and transform their lives.  I’m at a total loss to understand why I managed to avoid being part of those statistics and why I’m now living a life and doing all the things I’ve wanted to do and why Sam’s family now have to face the loss of another daughter.

Life is so unbelievably unfair sometimes and I wish I knew why things like this happen, but I don’t and I know that I never will.  For now all that matters is that we continue to do all that we can to increase awareness of organ donation, get people to sign up and help to prevent these wonderful people being lost.  And, what’s more, to live my life in a way that befits someone being given a second chance – to make the most of every opportunity, to give thanks every day and to hope that somewhere those we’ve lost are smiling down on us and wishing us well.

Breath easy now, Sam, you’re one in a million. x

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8 Responses to “There is no sense”

  1. Emily said

    Amazing blog Oli, and sentiments shared. x

  2. Tor said

    Great Blog, Sam will be missed by so many such a wonderful lady xxx

  3. Jac said

    Being right in the middle of the tx process, i was devastated to hear about Sam and your thoughts are shared….be kind to yourself though – there no way on understanding why these things happen but i know you will make the most of your gift.
    Love jac x

  4. Lynn said

    So sad….. life is so unfair!
    Hoping that more people sign the register.
    Good to see you doing well.

  5. Audrey said

    Hey Oli, Trying to make sense of things like this is hopeless.
    Years ago, none of us would have stood a chance. Things have got better, and the tireless campaigning by you and others has made a huge difference to the number of people getting transplants now.
    With all the fairly recent recipients, it made sense that someone else was due to go.
    The statistics will keep getting better, but in the meantime stay positive – it’s so much better than it was.
    Sam going is another reason for all of us to keep ramming the issues of organ donation home to anyone who’ll listen.

    Hope you’re feeling a bit better x

  6. Sam said

    So sorry to hear about Sam, totally gutted. There are no explanations, wish there were… don’t try and make sense of it all, you’ll drive yourself mad. We’ve just got to keep going and keep campagning. Thoughts to Sam’s family and all who knew her. xxx

  7. Hayley said

    Words are not going to make it feel any better at the moment Oli, I have asked myself why things happen the way they do so many times over the years and have come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason, that we may never see what that reason is in our lifetime but that we have to accept that.

    I remember when I lost my baby, had to have a hysterectomy and then were blessed with Robert, at the time I could not make sense of any of it until one day Robert said to me “mummy I was always going to be yours but you had a poorly tummy and someone else had to have me for you.” Out of the mouths of babes hey.

    I am very sorry for your loss and the loss of Sam’s family my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please do not beat yourself up about it Oli do Sam proud, live life and fight as you have for the cause.

    Love to you and K xxxxxxx

  8. Pauline said

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sam. Our love and prayers go to her family and friends. Life sucks.
    The frustraion, the hard thing to cope with is the knowledge that she could have been saved but there is no guarantee. Transplants offer the chance of a better life, just that, a chance.
    Every donor family has a tragedy to tell too and all go through the same emotions – numbness and injustice and wondering why their loved one could not have been saved – in just the same way that you question why you and not Sam received a transplant, that amazing gift.
    I too believe these things happen for a reason – and we don’t always know what that reason is. But I am sure that Sam’s death will give us all added resolve to fight on, to encourage more people to join the organ donor register, to raise the profile of organ donation still further through donor families and recipients having the courage to go and tell their stories and influence even more people. Oli you and Em and I’m sure Jac once she escapes Freeman are the lucy ones – go and shout it from the rooftops.
    lots of love
    Pauline and all at the DFN

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