ILLNESS AND RECOVERY
The context of my life.
At three years old I was diagnosed with an auto-immune digestive disease. The uncertainty associated with illness was a cornerstone of my youth, and became a guiding force behind my interest in philosophy and health. In 2013 I had a liver transplant as a result of this long-term illness. Due to the complexity of my case, this resulted in a 59-day stay at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Eventually I recovered physically, but it took me longer to understand that I left the hospital with PTSD, and even longer to understand how to adapt to it.
Over the eight years since my transplant, not a day has passed that I haven’t felt extreme gratitude for my donor, and for the life afforded to me. Especially with the challenges of raising an autistic child, I delight in participating in my son's growth, knowing I was close to missing out on his journey.
People often asked me after my transplant whether I’m ‘fixed’ — whether life is ‘back to normal’. My experience is that whether it is an organ transplant, an invasive injury or chronic illness, or simply raising an atypical child, when the body or mind undergoes a significant experience, it is forever changed. Our system becomes more intelligent. Sensitive. Wise. Learning to live with where I am now instead of expecting a former state of myself to arise has been integral in healing, acceptance and moving forward. It has also informed how I navigate daily life, and why I am so very passionate about this work in guiding people through change.
(Please become an organ donor. Dare to care and save lives.)