I cannot begin to encapsulate the last 5 years into this one post; it's not always been easy (it still isn't), there have been huge triumphs and horrible lows.
However, the overwhelming emotion today is gratitude. But who exactly am I thanking? Well, my parents who were with me every step of the way, meaning I was never alone. My medical teams who kept me going from birth to now but particularly the amazing staff at Harefield whose expertise and genuine kindness got me through. To my co-ordinations who delivered the life changing news and supported me through it all. To my incredible donor family who are the bravest, selfless, inspiring people, the people who through all their grief and torture gave me a chance to live again. And finally to my donor, you literally saved my life and I will do everything I can to make you proud and use your gift well.
To all of you I want to say...
Thank you for the 5 extra birthdays and Christmasses with my family. All the other family weddings, births, celebrations and casual days. For hugs with my mum, getting my dog who I absolutely adore, the 'I love you's' , the nights snuggled in bed, and every moment in between.
Thank you for allowing me to walk out of my front door. Just walk out, without oxygen, a wheelchair, and extreme breathlessness. To walk for a bus, get on a train independently again.
Thank you for all the days I've turned my face to the sunshine felt it warm my face and been glad to be alive.
Thank you for all the friends I would never have known were it not for my transplant. Being able to meet my niece, and my cousins children. The friendships and extra days that would never have happened if it weren't for all of you.
Thank you for the ability to take a deep breath and know how lucky I am.
Thank you for allowing me to see my potential, completing a half marathon and graduating, and to feel I can continue to strive for more.
Thank you for allowing me to start travelling and conquering my fears surrounding it. To Paris, Disneyland, Florida, NewYork....
Thank you for the hundred little things I do each day that barely register sometimes but that I could never have done without you.
Thank you for letting me follow my dreams, like my work experience at Les Miserables, my drama course, and the chances to perform which have made my heart soar with happiness.
Thank you for saving my parents the grief and trauma that would have been losing their youngest daughter.
Thank you for my future and for every single second that has led to this moment.
Thank you for my life.