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Grant's story

Life has its ups and downs. It has its miracles. It has those who give miracles.

Life. We wonder at its origins, we marvel at its complexity, we find peace in its beauty, yet we take it for granted.

I took my life for granted. Suddenly it became significant and my future became a mystery when I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. A career that was planned became early retirement at age 30. My wife Lorraine's plans for a child in five years became the need for a child now, so part of me could live on in a new life.

I was limited in what I could do and Lorraine did what I couldn't. She reduced work to part time so I could sleep when our new son Lochie needed to play.

Slowly, over a period of nine years, I became less able. I was dying. Fluid in my lungs made it a struggle to breathe. My muscles became weaker. Night time sleep was difficult because I was afraid of dying in the quiet darkness. Depression was with me constantly.

I couldn't take it anymore. I was assessed to be put on the transplant waiting list. This was the second time in my life a transplant was high on my agenda. When I was 20 years old I was in remission from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and had to decide if I wanted a bone marrow transplant. Back then I wasn't mentally ready and decided not to go ahead. However this time, I was ready. Also, I had no choice.

In the last days before the heart transplant, I wasn't me. My spirit was there hanging on by a mere thread, but I was ready to die. Everyone I knew thought the same and visited me in ICU to say goodbye although I was oblivious to it all.

After observation by the transplant team, I was taken off the list. My body wouldn't cope. However I somehow improved the next day and was put back on the list. Luckily, a heart became available and I had my operation.

Life has its ups and downs. It has its miracles. It has those who give miracles.

To my donor and their family - you gave me the miracle.

To Lorraine and Lochie - you are the miracles that keep me going.

To my doctors and medical team - you are the miracles who control and monitor my progress.

Without you all, I would not be here to marvel at life's miraculous beauty.


Nicky Burton