Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hannah Jones-What would you do if you had been sick all of you life

So, a lot of the time I write when I am somewhere that I do not have Internet connection (I know-today where in the world could that be?) with the intention of uploading it the next day. I have (sort of) followed this little girls story and saw a special update on her, so I wanted to write a little bit about her and how I feel about her situations-which I wrote a week ago.

09/14/10 Hannah Jones
(If you are in the transplant world) unless you are living under a rock you have heard about the 13 year old girl from the UK who refused the heart transplant, but later when she became ill decided to take it. It outraged many people that this girl "refused" the transplant and then days before dying changed he minded and decided to be listed-potentially taking the heart from another person who had always wanted to live.
Tonight there was a special on Hannah and her family, 1 year after hear transplant. Hannah had AML (Accute Myloid Leukemia right after she was born, the Chemo ruined her heart and she developed Cardiomyopathy). What Hannah really said when she was first offered to be listed that she did not want to be listed then-how she said it on TV did not make it sound like she was ruling ever getting the transplant.
So, why would anyone care about this? I think Hannah was really smart to wait until she was ready to have the transplant. When I was 15 years old, at Lucille Packard, the transplant doctors tried to push me to get the transplant and I am so glad I did not get it. A transplant is truly a life changing event that you must commit your life to, and if you are a teenager you must have the maturity and the will that you want to survive. Waiting for the transplant to see how sick you could get without it makes you realize how much you needed it, how you really must take you medications, and how it was the right time. You hear so many stories of people who get Tx's who lose them because they do not follow their doctors orders (mostly do not take their medications). It is really sad because usually these people are depressed because they have just been through so much, the surgery in itself is a huge life changing event, then the medication makes you sick, and then the change in work, family dynamics, etc. But if the doctors had knowingly had given Hannah the heart earlier, she might not have taken the medication, this could have resulted in a wasted heart, that could have gone to another sick child, that would have been really sad.
I somewhat feel that I can relate to Hannah. Although I did not have cancer as a child, I have been sick since I was an infant and my parents has drug me to all sorts of doctors to figure out what is wrong with me. When I was about 17 years old I just got to the point that I did not care anymore if I got the Tx or not, I did not want to ever see a rude doctor, needle, or hospital ever again. In a way I was a lucky sick child because I was never treated like a sick child because we did not know I was seriously ill until I was almost 16 years old. I am happy for my heart transplant buddy Hannah, we are both about a year out and doing well!

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