Oh, the things that a six year old heart transplant recipient says… #becauseofanorgandonor

We have some interesting conversations in the McYong house. Some are crappy discussions no parent wishes to even think about, others are downright comical and weird, and then there are those lines that stop me in my tracks. Those zingers are usually both good and bad, bittersweet reminders of our “new reality”.

The other day she ran up to us as we were talking about the weighty subject of death and exclaimed, “Without my heart transplant, I’d be dead!!” Then she proceeded to giggle and do a little twirl. Aaron and I kind of looked at each other, brows raised. We responded the only way we could, “Yes, that is correct.”

Then this other conversation goes back a few months to late summer. We had an impromptu patio party with one of Addison’s BFFs, double-lung recipient Margaret Benson and her husband Brian. I left early to take Charlie home for bedtime, leaving Addison and Aaron there. Later that evening after everyone was tucked in for bed, I got a message from Margaret relaying what happened when she went into the house to clean up. Addison followed her in and said, “Margaret, tell me your story. Why did you need a transplant?”  Margaret was quite surprised, but thought it was incredibly sweet that a six-year old would have that kind of insight. So Margaret shared her story…the “Reader’s Digest version” (because it’s a pretty long and crazy story LOL)…”When I came to the part that I nearly died, Addison said, ‘Me too, but I was little so I don’t remember it. Our life stories are pretty similar!'”. Margaret was blown away by that simple comment, yet so wise.

Addison and Margaret

I also see the Princess growing up in other ways. This September, she wanted to sign up for triathlon club. Yep, all her idea. I kept asking her if she was sure that’s what she wanted to do. She insisted. So every Monday, I recruit someone else to pick up Charlie (usually Lao Lao and Gong Gong…thank you!!!), rush home from work early, lump around Addison’s swimming and running gear (and for the first several weeks I wrangled her bike too), pick her up, drive to triathlon club, hang out for an hour and a half so I can manage transition duty, then get her showered and home. But this is what parents do and it makes it so worthwhile when I see how hard she’s working. Sometimes it’s really exhausting and I can tell she’s wrung out. I assume it’s because of her heart transplant but she seems to find prolonged physical activity quite tiring…she’s definitely more of a sprinter. Yet Addison keeps going back and doesn’t complain. Halfway through the season the club held a mini-triathlon for all the kids. I was such a proud momma watching my heart warrior give it her all. Those are the moments when I can’t believe what’s she gone through to get here.

Woot woot!! Pretty amazing right?? And added bonus: excellent training for the Canadian Transplant Games, which will be right here in our beautiful hometown of Vancouver July 2-7 2018!!!!

Elaine, Aaron, Addison and Charlie




10 thoughts on “Oh, the things that a six year old heart transplant recipient says… #becauseofanorgandonor

  1. Oh my, the tears are flowing and my heart is filled with so much joy for Addison and how she has changed the world for so many. So proud to call her my BFF. Much love for all of you. ❤️😘💚🙏🏼🎉

  2. My heart is about to burst with joy … Amazing Addison, rocking the world with her sage wisdom and sheer brilliance … and spreading organ donation awareness in the cutest possible way !!! … so pleased to see her doing so well and to see the girls thriving … they are so cute it is heart melting ( please excuse all the heart puns ) … kids are my passion being a recently retired critical care/ pediatric nurse of many years …. GO Princess Addison … best wishes to the McYong clan ❤

  3. It has been so wonderful following your story. My 6 year old granddaughter had a heart transplant around the time Addison did. During a recent sleep-over she informed me that if she didn’t take her medicine, she’d die in 6 hours. Obviously there is a bit of drama going on with that number or she needs to work on her math!

  4. Wow! Wow, wow, wow. Way to go, Addison! I’m so glad I know who you are. Next summer, I’ll volunteer at the Games and cheer you on.

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