Sunday, 8 January 2012


Long time, no see... I can't believe I have neglected this blog for a whole year and this week marks 7 years since being diagnosed with Kidney Failure!

I have been feeling the need to blog for a while but don’t really know what to say or where to start as I’ve been away for so long.

I suppose I should start with me and where I am up to at the minute. I am about to start full time work this week! I have been doing 3 days (30 hours) for some months now so I am hoping I will be able to cope with a full 40hour week, I will have Wednesdays off so aim to rest as much as I can then.

The other and probably most exciting news is that last week I started University! I am studying for my Early Years Professional Status which is the next step on from my Early Years Studies degree which I gained in 2010. I am will be at based at Chester University and the course will take a year, I only have to attend one Monday a month and every other Wednesday evening! Although daunting I know it’s a natural progression and something I need to do to further myself and my career. As part of this I will have to work with children of different ages which means me moving rooms within the nursery to work with toddlers. If I had a choice I would stay in pre-school, it’s the age range I’m most comfortable with, but I know it’s something I need to do and will no doubt adapt to in no time.

So 2012 looks set to be busy, exciting and full of change!

The end of 2011 was the hardest time of my life, I can’t put into words what I want to say about it right now but I know in time I will, so I will save that for my next blog.

Monday, 3 January 2011

How time flies...

Six years ago today I was diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Failure, I wouldn't change it for the world. I have achieved some wonderful things, met some amazing people and had some incredible experiences, I am so lucky to be happy and healthy now, all thanks to my wonderful donor and their family.

Dialysis January 2005

Transplant 2008


Friday, 31 December 2010

My 2010

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before? ... Lots of things, Still find it surreal to be healthy and doing normal everyday things! 2 events that stick out the most is obviously getting my first proper job as a nursery nurse and the 2nd is moving out of home into my very own appartment (thanks to my wonderful family for supporting me on this one)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My aim is just to keep living life how I want to live it, doing the things I couldn't do when I was ill and making my donor and their family proud.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? ...
I will be spending the evening with my parents, just a quiet one possibly a DVD and a takeaway.

4. Did anyone close to you die? ...
My amazing friend Jessica Wales sadly lost her fight, she recieved her double lung transplant on the 27th December 2009 and sadly died on the 12th January 2010. She was an inspiration to me and continues to be.

5. What countries did you visit? ...
Ireland and Malta (my first holiday abroad since my transplant!)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? ...
I can't think of anything more that I could have wished for in 2010 other than for Jess to still be with us and experiencing her new life. I think my Mum would answer... a fella!

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? ...
31st August was the day I moved out of home, attempted to grow up and become independant!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? ...
becoming a trustee for the amazing transplant charity Live Life Then Give Life.

9. What was your biggest failure? ...
Hmmm a hard one, probably not seeing Jess before she died, the last time I saw her was in the October.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? ...
This year I was hospitalised for the first time since my transplant with pneumonia, I was only in for 4 days but it took me a good month for me to fully recover.

11. What was the best thing you bought? ...
The appartment! With a lot of help from my family :)

12. Where did most of your money go? ...
House things, new sofas, bed, tv etc!

13. What song will always remind you of 2010? ...
Lots of songs for different reasons, Savage Garden's Truly Madly Deeply was Jess' song, it was played at her funeral and I have not yet been able to listen to it in full, brings back too many memories. Cilos Green's Forget You reminds me of my works christmas do and drunken times with friends, and then I want it that way by the Backstreet Boys - memories of a houseparty were all my kitchen utensils were used as microphones!

14. What do you wish you'd done more of? ...
More visiting of friends, have made so many through Live Life Then Give Life who I don't see enough because they are based all over the country!

15. What do you wish you'd done less of? ....
spending money?

16. What was your favourite TV program? ... Still an avid watcher of Hollyoaks!

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? ...

18. What was the best book you read? ...
I'm in the middle of Holly and Fearnes Best Friends Guide to Life at the minute - I got it as a present for Christmas from secret santa at work! Thanks De :) x

19. What was your greatest musical discovery? ...
I saw Lady GaGa live this year she was amazing!

20. What was your favourite film of this year? ... Eclipse!

21. What did you do on your birthday? ... I went to see Florence and the Machine in Blackpool with some mates, my Bro and his wife! We stayed over in a hotel so made a night of it :)

22. What kept you sane? ...
My Family as always - Thank you :) xx

23. Who did you miss? ...
Jess - and I always will.

24. Who was the best new person you met? ...
All the new friends I made at work! Love them all to bits! x

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010: ...
Don't take things for granted and live life to the full as you never know when its going to end. Tell the people you care about that you love them.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Ok so here I am... 6 months after my last blog, with so much to tell you all but not a lot to say, make sense? I thought not!

So what have I been up to? Good question, now where to start. Firstly the reason I am writing this blog is because I have been told off by numerous people that I don't update anymore and the last blog I wrote wasn't exactly a happy one (the title being "I didn't make it" - I hope none of you thought I had popped my clogs!) and secondly my English has gotten worse since I stopped. So here is my attempt at trying to keep this blogging a regular thing... small and short updates are the way forward I think!

So why so long since I updated, I guess I don't think people will find me that interesting anymore? I do normal everyday things now? Theres a lot less drama in my life (which is a good thing, believe me.) I guess I feel more normal, normal life has taken over and I don't feel the need to shout about it on here, because whats happening to me is just that... normal, nothing interesting, nothing out of the ordinary... just normal, I'm not complaining, I like normal!

A few high points of the last 6 months...

The main one is I moved into my own place in August! My family have been a huge support to me on this one, I now live 5ish minutes away from my parents in a 3rd floor 2 bedroom flat! I have loved making it my own, choosing the furniture, buying useless ornaments (that just look pretty) and having my own space!? Just a normal 23 year old thing to do!

I had a fab holiday abroad in Malta in July with my parents, brother, sister in law and niece. (The first since my transplant) I swam with dolphins, went canoeing, jet skiing and sampled some lovely Maltease cocktails! Just a normal holiday!

I am going to be an Auntie again! My nephew is due this month and I really can't wait! I love the smell of little babies, giving them bottles and rocking them to sleep, so much fun! A normal occasion to look forward to.

I've celebrated being another year older (probably not wiser) and another year with my kidney (last week).

I've had many drunken, happy and normal nights out with the girls!

I went for my annual review at the hospital last week, I had the best blood results I have ever had, my creatinine being 90 (in a healthy person this would be 80) and when I was on dialysis it was 1654! My creatinine clearance was 106, my kindey is clearing 106mls every minute... effectively meaning my kidney is working at 106% (anything above 50 would be acceptable)!

I'm loving my work, my role as a trustee for Live Life Then Give Life, my friends and my family.

I'm loving the fact that I am normal, I can write about normal everyday mundane things that everyone else does but this time 2 years ago I only dreamed of doing. I know that there are people out there that don't feel "normal" a lot of them being my friends who are on the transplant list, I also know only to well that none of the above (normal) things would have been posible if it wasn't for my donor and the gift they gave me.

So thats me, Holly, 24 years old, a nursery nurse who lives on her own (with 2 pet hamsters) who is a trustee for Live Life Then Give Life, has had a kidney transplant but is just normal, and living a very normal life and loving it!


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I didn't make it...

Firstly apologies for not updating before now (I have a few good reasons) I have done a couple of guest blogs over on Rachy's blog and I am also on the Live Life Then Give Life blogging team now so check that out.

The main reason I haven't been around is... that I didn't make the 2 year mark without being admitted to hospital, this was an aim of mine but oh well... when needs must.

I thought I had a tummy bug, had the usual D and V that comes with it but I also had a sore chest (which I presumed was from coughing and retching, how wrong was I?). This was Friday the 16th and I spent all day in bed, running an impressive temperature of 39.8 at one point, I still insisted on keeping my duvet over me because I was cold (not very sensible). I also insisted on not going to hospital and that I would be fine the next day, which again I was wrong about.

I felt weak and wobbly on my feet, had dizzy spells and constant sickness (I missed 2 doses of my anti rejection drugs, which worried me), finally I gave in and told my Mum to ring the Royal Liverpool hospital transplant ward. The ward suggested I go to my local A and E or their A and E, I would have rather gone to theirs but there was no way that I could manage the 30minute car journey so instead it was off to Warrington. I ordered (well asked politely) my Mum to wash and dry my hair for me as I was in no doubt that they would keep me in, this involved me getting very out of breath, dizzy and faint. (The things us girls do hey)

I made it to the hospital without being sick in the car but spent my hour wait outside the department sat in a wheelchair throwing up in a bucket (so very attractive). Flashbacks from my last time in A and E came over me, this was in 2005 when I was first diagnosed and appeared with exactly the same symptoms. I was probably more worried than I let on but I knew that I was finally in the right place. I was eventually taken through to majors, with my obs being done, bloods taken and a cannula put in (all echoing the exact same routine that had taken place in 2005). I was given a chest x ray, saline drip, paracetamol and hydrocortazone, which had an effect on me within the hour, I was very impressed and felt relieved.

The chest x ray results came back and I was told I had a bad chest infection, so my self diagnosis of a pulled muscle was wrong then... later I found out that it was actually pneumonia I had! To say I was surprised was an understatement, I'd had an injection against it, always presumed you had to be cold to catch it (don't ask me why) and always thought it was more an old peoples illness?!

I was put on IV antibiotics and kept in Warrington Hospital for 2 nights. I was all ready to be discharged when I was told to keep my outpatients appointment at the Royal Liverpool, so me and my Mum (with me still feeling very rough) drove on over. My transplant consultant took one look at me and decided to admit me there and then! I only stayed in for one night and am now back at home on Oral Augmentin antibiotics, which seem to be doing the trick!

So all in all a very eventful few weeks, full of events I don't want to repeat any time soon! I am on the mend, although I still seem to be feeling a bit of chest pain and I'm still getting tired easily. I was signed off work for 2 weeks (one more week to go) and I am booked in for another x ray on Thursday which will hopefully show things clearing up.

It just goes to show how fragile health can be, it did bring memories flooding back and thats what scared me. I was probably beginning to get comfortable with how my health was going and taking it for granted so it really knocked me for 6 when I was housebound for a week... it was like life on dialysis.

I know its nothing compared to what some people (who are awaiting transplants) have been through or are going through at this very minute but It's given be a huge wake up call that nothing is written in stone and health should never be taken for granted....

Monday, 29 March 2010

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...

As the title suggests, I am still here (you don't get rid of me that easily)

If I am not updating its because I am having too much fun for my own good! I have done loads of exciting things over the past few weeks that each deserve their own blog, but I just don't have time. So here is a quick run down!

  • I went to the x factor meet and greet... met them all, loved Jedward and got some fab pics (if you are on facebook you will have already seen them)
  • I went to London for 5 days ON MY OWN - this wouldn't have been possible before. I stayed with the lovely Charlotte Hogg for 3 nights and spent my last night with the fabulous Emily.
  • I met some amazing people in London - catching up with my mentor Oli Barrett as well. I have started making plans for Donor Day 2010 and will fill you in when I can.
  • It was Jess' 21st Birthday the day I was staying with Emily... we released blue and white 21st birthday balloons with Sunflower seeds attached to them (this is what me and Em threw on Jess' beautiful pink coffin at her funeral) we also attached a note to ask the person who finds them to plant them in her memory.
  • I went to see Peter Kay at one of his intimate gigs for Haiti. He was hilarious!
  • I am loving my new trustee role for Live Life Then Give Life
  • Work is going well and I am getting my head around all the paper work!
  • I am in the spring special of Pick Me up, talking about the gift of life campaign and battlefront!
  • I jumped off the Royal Liverpool Hospital for the big zip in aid of the Linda McCartney Unit and the St Pauls eye unit. I hated jumping off the ledge but loved the actual zip wire and would definately do it again!
  • I've booked to go and see Lady GaGa in June :)
  • I can't remember if I mentioned this in one of my previous blogs but I am thinking of moving out of home (mum still thinks I am joking) but I am not and I want to make it happen in the coming months. (I will have to take some overtime on at work but I am sure it will be worth it)
  • Rachy is doing well after her double lung transplant and I hope to see her when I get back off my holiday!

On Wednesday I am off to Ireland for a family wedding! The last time I went over for a wedding (2 years ago) I was on dialysis, had to fit the wedding in around this, obviously couldn't eat or drink what I wanted and felt nausious the hole time. My Mum had to pull the car over for me to be sick on the way home from the reception! So this year, it will be all different, I will be eating and drinking and no doubt showing the dance floor some of my moves!

Sorry that this was so brief. I will update more about that when I get back... I will hopefully do a photoblog sometime soon with pics of some of the above events.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rachy got the call...

Just a quick update to say my friend Rachael Wakefield got her call for a double lung transplant today :) I got a text at 4.20am this morning and have been on tenterhooks all day waiting on any news, constantly checking my phone, facebook, blogs and twitter! Finally the news came through at 5pm that it was all a go and she was off to theatre!

I am so thrilled for her and her family, she really does deserve this second chance. Rachy had recently been put on the urgent transplant waiting list and I was extremely worried about her as it brought back so many memories of Jess! Of course Rachy is not out of the woods, she has got a long operation ahead of her and an even longer recovery. She is one tough cookie though, and I know she can do it!

She has promised to take me to TGI Fridays and I have promised her a night of cocktails, she best keep her end of the bargain, cos I will definately be keeping mine! Keep up to date with Rachy's progress here and of course on her own blog here.

I am of course thinking of the amazing family who said yes to Organ Donation at such a devestating time for them. You could do something amazing today and save someones life... sign the Organ Donor Register and give people like Rachy a chance. Thank you x