At 6am my mobile rang but I didn't answer it as it came up with a number I didn't know compared to the usual 'unknown' that flashes up when the transplant coordinators ring. Straight away it flashed up on my phone saying I had a voicemail which I listened to immediately! As soon as I heard the Geordie accent I knew it was a call for transplant! My coordinator said in the message she would try my mums mobile next so I leapt out of bed and pounded on my parents bedroom door with my fists before running in and grabbing my mums mobile just as it started ringing! My parents were so confused and shocked by my wake up call to them it took them a second to realise I was on the phone to newcastle and that they had some lungs for me!
Like before we all ran around frantically getting the last minute things packed in our already pre packed bags that are always on standby for when we get the call. A paramedic in an ambulance car arrived within 5 minutes of my call which piled on the pressure for getting ready in super speed! I received another call off my coordinator at this point saying that because they needed me at the hospital so quickly she was in conversation with the ambulance coordinators about possibly flying me in the air ambulance helicopter. However, after deliberation, it was decided the only option was to go in a proper ambulance as the air ambulance didn't start until 7am and by the time they'd carried out pre flight checks it would be 7.30 and finally there was a chance they wouldn't even be able to take the job due to other demand so it was a risk we could not take with the time restraints. So the door bell rang again and a second crew of paramedics with a full sized ambulance arrived to take me to newcastle with good old blue lights, sirens and foot to the floor acceleration! We were told that they wanted me at the hospital by 9.30 at the latest, it was 6.40 when we left so we had 3 hours which would usually be fine but we were travelling at peak morning rush hour time! It was a hairy journey to say the least and I was glad for the harness like seatbelt I had on the bed! We had to do all we could to save time, going on the hard shoulder, hatching and even beeping people that didn't seem to realise despite the sirens and blue lights we needed them to get out our way! Miraculously we arrived at Newcastle Freemans with 5 minutes to spare, the paramedics whizzed me up to the ward as the clock struck 9.30, talk about cutting it fine!
Pretty much as soon as we got onto the ward I knew it was a false alarm as the receptionist asked the paramedics to hang back to speak to the coordinator, I put 2 and 2 together that this was because she wondered if they could take me all the way back home again! As I predicted the coordinator came straight up and greeted me with the words 'I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news, one of the lungs isn't good enough, I'm really sorry!' I was glad to be told as soon as I had arrived that it wasn't going ahead compared to waiting for over 2 hours on my first false alarm as I was gasping for a drink; I'd not been allowed to have anything since I received the call and I was parched! We immediately rang my dad who was half way up the A1 to tell him it was a false alarm and that he could turn back home because luckily the ambulance were able to bring us back! After a reassuring chat with the coordinator it was time to do the reverse of the mornings events minus the big rush! I fell asleep in the ambulance home, bonus of being on a bed, whilst mum chatted to the paramedic whose mum it turns out was my childhood swimming teacher! Small world!
It was absolute heaven when we arrived home as dad had a fry up ready on the table with a big mug of tea and a hot water bottle for me! After pretty much inhaling my 'breakfast' I climbed back into my marshmallow of a bed and slept!
When I awoke at about 8pm I was greeted with 2 bunches of flowers and a pile of goodies from 2 of my 2 best friends who had popped round to cheer me up! It certainly made sure I ended my day with a smile!
Obviously I am disappointed to have had another false alarm as they really are emotionally and physically draining mainly due to the adrenaline surge it causes! However, I have my ultimate trust in the team at newcastle and know they are only going to give me a pair of healthy working lungs! I also am lucky to have had 2 calls within 2 months, it shows I am relatively easy to match and at the top of the priority list! I'm just hoping it's third time lucky!
It's now almost 2 weeks since my second false alarm, if I'm honest it took me the best part of a week to recover fully from it, I just couldn't believe how even more lethargic than usual I felt! In the last week though I have got out and about socialising again, I am a lady who lunches! I'm not a morning person at all so all my social plans tend to revolve around going for lunch, I'm not going to lie, it's rather enjoyable! My particular favourites have been 'Turtle bay' and 'The cosy club' along with a restaurant in Nottingham called 'Iberico Tapas' where I went last night for dinner with a friend!
When I'm not lunching I've been making all the cards I've been commissioned, it's been really good to wake up and have a purpose and something to do and I'm raising lots of money for the Cystic Fibrosis trust!
I've got a busy few weeks ahead with a film crew or 2, I am being the subject for a documentary my friend is making for uni and I have also been approached by channel 5 documentary makers (I can't really say anything more than that) so watch this space!