My sister is a huge film buff and many years ago we first stumbled upon the heart warming (literally) film, ‘Return to me’ starring Mini Driver and David Duchovny.
What was an interesting coincidence as in the year the film was filmed my family rented a small villa close to the picturesque town of Cortona, which perches high up above the surrounding Umbrian rolling landscape. One evening, my parents went out for dinner at the beautiful restaurant which sat at one of the highest points in that little town.
When they returned home, my parents who are not star struck people said that they were convinced that Minnie Driver had been sitting at the next table with a good looking actor. Of course, the film was released a few years later but when my sister and I did the maths, (and I’m crying as I write the because it makes me so happy and sad all at once) it really could have been Minnie and David after filming.
For those of you not familiar with the plot, David’s character loses his wife but Minnie Driver ends up getting her heart, and it’s totally life changing for her. Especially when she meets David and they have chemistry. For most of us this is just another fantastical Hollywood story, but in my life, that act of actually having a deceased individual’s liver inside me will happen. I would love to then meet a David Duchovny! But jokes aside, this is not something I take lightly. Not at all in fact.
The idea of someone else losing their life and me, ‘benefitting’ from it, is an horrific thing to even begin to think about. It’s just too upsetting. But I have to, because it will become a reality. My doctors at The Royal Free have organised for me to see a psychologist to talk about the procedure as every time I meet my consultant and we discuss it I dissolve into tears. It doesn’t matter how strong you think you are this is mind boggling and life changing and there is a huge amount of guilt and fear thrown in too.
I’ve been on the list since December of last year and I could be on it for another year and a bit, there are no time limits except my health, and no guarantee I will actually get one. I just have to hope I will be lucky enough to have a second chance.
What absolutely blows me away though, is the fact that I will be getting my second chance through the generosity of a stranger I will never meet.
How can you ever thank them for that kindness?
I know that my body is so complicated that I can’t donate, but maybe if I can encourage others too, I will feel a little less guilty and this gift I can’t reciprocate.