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Patrick's story

I have never met my donor family but I promise to value the gift they have given me.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with a lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis. There was evidence that medication could not help this condition as scarring is permanent once it has developed. For a non-smoker this news was very hard to understand because the scarring of my lungs was going to end my life. A lung transplant for me was the only option available. Before my double lung transplant I was reliant on oxygen 24 hours a day and fearful I may not see another Christmas.

My life has been saved by the very generous gift that one person and their family made - the special gift of new lungs. I haven't felt this good in seven years. After three months recovery I could go back to work with two of my three sons in the building industry and very much enjoying my second chance at life.

Since my transplant, I have met a lot of special doctors and nurses as well as a number of young people training to be a part of an amazing team involved in transplant. It is thanks to people donating the greatest gift possible - LIFE that people like me have been given a second chance. I can plan for a future with family and friends.

At this stage I am taking a lot of medication and every day I think of the person and their family that have had so much pain in their life. I hope that time and the strength of family and friends will make things easier for them. I have never met my donor family but I promise to value the gift they have given me.

I would like to encourage people to talk to their family and friends about their decision to ensure organs can be given to those in need if the time comes.


Nicky Burton