18.03.18 – In Theatre

So here I am!!! Sitting here with a new Liver! I still can’t actually believe that this has happened. To have been waiting and not really believing it will happen any time soon. And then be called, still telling yourself that it may not go ahead incase it doesn’t. I have learned that through these experiences, you always come out so much stronger the other side. It’s still quite overwhelming and I get emotional about it at times.

As a lot has happened over the last week, I thought it would be easier to go through it a few days at a time. Here I’ll tell you about the first two days but before I do, I’d like to thank Mr Perera, the surgeon who performed my Transplant, the Liver Team, Drs, Nurses and Healthcare workers who all have looked after me so well at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. I also can’t be thankful enough to the donors family to be given such a precious gift. Ive received so many lovely messages, support and comments through Whatsapp, WordPress, British Liver Trust forum and other social media.

Thursday 8th March

18:45: I received a call from the transplant co-ordinater to let me know that there might be a liver for me. I was told to stay put incase it may not happen as only I live 30 mins max drive from the hospital. There’s this uncertainty as the left smaller lobe of the liver was going to a baby or small child and sometimes what’s left isn’t high enough quality for transplant (which is what happened when I got the call in 2015).

20:20: A second call came and they asked me to make my way in as it was looking more likely to happen. Nate and I got our coats and shoes on and we drove straight to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I was very nervous at the time but I kept calm at the surface as best I could.

20:55: We arrived onto the ward and met my parents shortly after. In order to get me ready for surgery, I had bloods taken, changed into a gown, put on those attractive stockings and was visited by members of the liver team.

Pre – Op – just about to get changed. Hiding my nerves

23:45: Phoned my sisters who were in London. I was so glad that they were together at the time so that they had the opportunity to support each other.

Friday 9th March

01:15: I headed down to theatre with my family following close behind. Once I arrived at theatre reception, the anaesthetic team went through the relevant paperwork and said my goodbyes to everyone. I was then escorted off to surgery for 8/9hrs. I remember having sedation whilst the anaesthetist was asking about where I work before drifting off…

09:30: My family including Nate had been informed that the surgery was a success.

WhatsApp message sent by my Mum to Family Group chat:

09:33 “Op went very well says the surgeon!! Complex and “she was very sick inside” as he said but replaced with a new engine that was working well. She is being stabilised and they will try and wake her up in a couple of hours by reducing her sedation. She will be in pain but this will be controlled.”

12:00: At this point, I was now sent from recovery to Critical Care. They tried to gradually wake me but they felt I was in too much pain so I was kept sedated until Saturday morning.

During the time I was in theatre and under sedation, I can’t imagine how my family must have felt. The huge emotional stress they had been put under was something I did worry about. I’m doing my best to keep strong, to eat and drink well and ensure I know what to do when I get home.

I will be updating my blog again soon to go through the next couple of days in hospital. I thought it would be nice to inform you that It was a complete success, and that I’m my recovering very well. I’m now settled on a ward, in good hands and learning about the complete set of new drugs I need to take. All of my drains, tubes and lines have been removed, which have left a few bruises and marks which are the least of my worries.

Intubated in Critical Care – Friday 09 March

6 thoughts on “18.03.18 – In Theatre

  1. Wow, Olivia! I am full of admiration for you and thrilled that you are making a good recovery from your transplant. I’m so pleased that yous had amazing surgeons and nursing staff. It’s hard to be on the receiving end when you’re a nurse, I always think. God bless you. I look forward to the next installment. Xxx

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  2. So relieved it went well. My son will be 6 weeks post liver transplant on Wednesday and in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago as so much has happened and he has made so much progress. Hopefully in 6 weeks time you will be as strong as he is x

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  3. It’s amazing 😀 I am really so happy for you. How life can change from one moment to the next. Many thanks to the donor and the incredible medical staff. I wish you a speedy recovery and send you a virtual bouquet 💐. X

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