Eight has always been Addison’s favourite number. It also happens to be a lucky number in Chinese culture with meaning in both traditional and modern beliefs, associated with luck, wholeness, completeness, wealth and prosperity. Seems to be an excellent theme as today we celebrate Addison’s 8th heartiversary!
In many ways, eight years has zoomed by, and in other ways it has been a day to day, week to week, month to month progression to get here. Addison continues to do amazingly well. I have to admit my anxieties and fears of life post-transplant have lessened dramatically as she continues to enjoy a pretty great level of ‘normal’. It also helps that we see our fellow young transplant friends growing up, getting jobs, graduating from high school, going on to university or college, traveling independently, and living rich, fulfilling lives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rose-coloured glasses and smooth sailing, but they are thriving! I think of the prognosis those parents were given 10+, 15+, 20+ years ago, and then I am excited to think about how things are changing and improving.
Right now, Addison continues to enjoy the ‘special’ things she gets to do because of her heart transplant. She also likes to share her story to help raise awareness about the importance of organ donation. We were recently in Ottawa with a number of other recipients from across the country and the parents of Humboldt Broncos player Logan Boulet for a Canadian Blood Services organ donation awareness event. Addison will also be taking part in BC Transplant annual Transplant Heroes chocolate delivery to BC Children’s later this month.
Our entire world has been transformed by Addison’s transplant journey and that really hit home for me recently. Three weeks ago on her 8th birthday, I posted a photo of her on social media. When I read through the comments later that night, I realized more than three-quarters of the comments were from people in our transplant world. These are people we would have never met or been fortunate enough to call part of our ‘family’ without this connection to organ transplant. That’s pretty incredible. I felt so moved to see how how much positive energy, love and joy comes from organ donation and transplant. The true beauty and power of organ donation is how many lives it touches – not just the lives that are saved directly through transplant, but also all the lives that are, in turn, touched by the recipients, living donors, and donor families.
Thank you Audrey, and thank you to your brave mom Felicia. You have given more than you can ever imagine with your gift of organ donation. The ripple effects are so profound and have impacted so many people.
Apologies for being AWOL on the blog these past few months. Has it really been four whole months since my last post??? A lot has happened but I am finding it more and more difficult to make the time to blog, especially with how busy it has been for me at work. I do post fairly regularly on Instagram, especially with little daily stories of the adventures of both Addison and her little sister Charlie, so please follow along there if you aren’t already.
We do have a couple of big appointment days at BC Children’s Hospital coming up soon. The first one next week is the big neonatal follow-up which will track her overall development. That’s a full day packed schedule, including psychology, occupational therapy, and consult with a nurse and doctor. Then we have transplant clinic in June.
Addison will soon start some serious training for this summer’s World Transplant Games in England. But in the meantime, we are enjoying the sunshine, riding our bikes, picnicking in the backyard, and eating ice cream.
Happy heart-iversary my amazing transplant warrior!!
Elaine, Aaron, Addison and Charlie