In January 2012 we rook Rachel to our GP as she seemed a bit under the weather. They said she had a heart murmur and booked her into be seen in a months time by a specialist.
However Rachel took a turn for the worse and was admitted two days later to the Freeman hospital where cardiomyopathy was diagnosed.
This was such a shock as we never knew that some one could go into heart failure from catching a virus. The hospital did all they could to slow it down, but unfortunately Rachel got worse and on the first of February she was place at the top of the heart transplant list.
On the ninth of February she was taken to PICU and placed on a life support machine to give her heart a rest and decide what options we had. On the tenth of February Rachel received her gift of life a new heart. This day was filled with mixed emotions: that of great sorrow for the family that lost their loved one, but also so much relief and happiness that my child may have the chance to live.
We are so grateful to Rachel’s donor and their family who made the decision to donate their loved one’s organs while going through so much pain of losing them. While we where in hospital two children lost their fight for life and two children were waiting.
Little is known or understood about viruses that attack your heart and more is needed to highlight that this may happen to anyone. The need to register as a organ donor is so vital as well as making sure your family is aware of your wishes.
Both my children and my family are registered organ donors and we are constantly encouraging others to sign up. Rachel is now sixteen months post heart transplant and is doing well, however, we continue to ride the rollercoaster that is our transplant journey.