My Life is all about 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it
I have had an unwanted relationship with hospitals and it was not primarily because I was born in one but because I spent 14 years of my life in hospitals. However, destiny had its own plans and it paved my way to become a transplant coordinator with one of the reputed hospitals in Delhi. Life is never easy for most of us, as we all have our own battles to fight and I am no different. I was born with severe urogenital illness and went through many surgeries as a child. As everyone, I too had my own dreams and ambitions and always aspired to work for Mass Media and Communication Industry. However, destiny had something else for me in the store. Soon after graduating, I was diagnosed with advanced kidney failure and straight away I was put on dialysis. From then onwards life was an uphill struggle for quite a few years. Each passing day was becoming painful, grueling, frustrating and tiring.
I was born different, being born with single kidney along with congenital urogenital malformations. I was quite a challenging case for doctors. I remember doctors telling my parents that my case was not easy and so was the success of transplant in comparison with other transplant patients. We all know the power of love and most powerful form of love one ever receives is from the super women who gives you birth. My mother, despite knowing about the low success rate and risks involved in my transplant, she not only gave permission to operate on me, but also became my donor. My family and my treating team never gave up on me which also gave me the strength to stay positive. There is a famous quote from Harry Potter which suits best on me and here it goes “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light”. Together we beat all the odds and here I'm living my life like any other normal human being.
Apart from medications, everything became normal and my life was back on track. Though my dream to join mass media didn't come through, life gave me another chance to help others though my profession. I will always remain thankful to my doctors and nursing team who always supported me to stay positive and motivated. They say God never leaves you and is always there with you in different forms. It became true and I found one in Lt.Col. Sandhya Nair (Retired) who will always remain my inspiration. She is a highly motivated soul and whenever I see her, my heart just says one thing “Be like her”. She is one of the major reasons for my motivation to become a transplant coordinator. She always tried to engage me with activities related to organ donation. My interactions with patients and their family gave me a different level of peace of mind and found the purpose of my existence. With her guidance and my determination, perseverance, grit and hunger to help the ones in similar situations, I became a transplant coordinator. It is rightly said that the secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.
And here comes the father of all era I have known till date “The COVID Era”. A time which blacked out almost everything for everyone. No stepping out, no family gatherings, parties, meeting friends, no socializing and complete isolation. It's a different kind of pain to see people dying everyday. It was even more hard for people with compromised immunity as there are more restrictions apart from isolation. Like many others, I too had to choose between my career and my health and obviously the choice was clear for me. I was devastated with this setback in my career. Days and nights did not feel any different. Like many, I got bored of my own thoughts and finally decided to do something productive and worthy with my time.
Being a recipient, I was curious to learn more about transplants, roles of immunosuppressive medicines, how and why organs get rejected, how dialysis works and what happens to people who do not get a donor organ. I got myself enrolled for a course with MOHAN Foundation. This course helped me learning the importance of transplant coordinators in hospitals and the entire process of organ donation. Nothing could be more fulfilling and content than saving someone's life especially if I could be a part of it. This transformed me to a new person with new dreams and passion. I feel proud to say that even COVID could not stop me. I fought my battle against COVID and this experience made me feel more strong and more positive about life than ever before. Simultaneously I completed my course as well and started applying for jobs.
“We are not fit for every job” as they say, but it's totally opposite in my case. The transplant coordinator profession always demands you to be in healthy and fit. I went through a lot of refusals because of my transplant history. This used to pinch me hard, so I started distracting my mind with various activities like abstract painting and learning kathak. But I never gave up on myself as I knew that I could do this job just like any other person with more compassion; hence I kept on giving interviews.
Finally, I got a chance to prove myself and to fulfil my dreams passionately. The person who was completely aware about my limitations and boundaries but still accepted me was Col. Dr. Avnish Seth (Retired). He has not only given me a chance but also taken a bet on me “To the soldier, luck is merely another word for skill”. Shifting to a different city impacted on my health and I was infected many times. I thought of quitting but he had motivated me to fight with all odds. Under his guidance I have facilitated two deceased donations within a short span of time and this was a small and humble achievement of me.
At last, I would just say, 'nothing comes easy'.
Everything depends on your hard work, dedication and passion towards your dream. As a recipient I saw many hurdles in society and work culture. The people on dialysis are not aware of transplantation procedures. So, we should try to set an example for such people to move forward with transplant and have a better life. One should never give up on their dreams irrespective of the condition he/she is in. Hurdles will come and go but you have got only one life to live. God tests each one of us at some point or other in our lives but believe me this is His way to see how strong you are and passionate about your dreams. Aspire so that you can inspire people to live!!!!
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: kidney, recipient, transplant, transplant coordinator, COVID-19