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Hannah Sharma


A Change of Heart

“I didn’t think you were going to survive the week,”

My best friend said a few weeks after I received my life saving transplant. I became sick out of nowhere and went downhill so unbelievably rapidly. Within 5 weeks of what I thought was a chest infection I had been admitted to a specialist heart and lung hospital with Dilated Cardiomyopathy; my heart was failing and I was technically dying.

‘‘We have decided that the best course of action is to list you as soon as possible on the urgent transplant list,”

we were told. We knew it was coming by then. My brother was with me when we got the news and I was calm and collected. I didn’t cry in that moment. It was the only option I had if I wanted to live and I still wasn’t ready to give up on that. I was determined to live. I had so much more to give.

Rewind to four months previous and I was living my usual, healthy, happy life with no real worries to speak of. It was unimaginable to think that they would take out my old heart and replace it completely with someone else’s. Somebody who had tragically died too early selflessly gave me her heart so I could survive.

“We’ll be taking you down to theatre in five minutes,”

My transplant co-ordinator said as she popped her head in. I’ll never forget listening to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ and ‘Proud Mary’ by Tina Turner as the sun rose in my hospital room the morning that I got my new heart - her heart. I wasn’t scared. I was ready to start living. Not like before. I was ready to really start living. To me this meant, and still means, constantly learning and growing. It means letting go of my fears and any self- doubt that I have and moving forward to life I want to live. It means really knowing who I am and what I want to be. It means living a life full of purpose.

“You are so strong, I couldn’t have got through that,”

I heard in so many different ways from a lot of people. The truth is, we don’t know what we are capable of until we have to survive.I chose to fight to stay alive and now I choose to fight to live. Life is too short to put things off for another day. What if another day doesn’t happen? It was time to stop coasting through life and make shit happen.