Friday, 26 July 2013

The Birth of a Prince and The Death of an Angel

Unless you have been living under a rock you cannot have missed the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

I was delighted by the new arrival and I surprised myself by the numbers of 'aww's and 'isn't he cute' remarks coming out of my mouth. Now I'm not a baby person but even I got caught up in the moment. However even I have to admit the media coverage was way, way over the top. Instead of various reporters practically doing cartwheels when the announcement came and the cancellation of regular programmes, a ten minute, at most, announcement would have done. I can understand programmes being cancelled when the baby left hospital with an extremely happy Kate and William because then there was actually something to see. Everything else was repetitive, boring and far too much.

Another thing that struck me was how miserable some people are. Now I like the Monarchy, I'm not an obsessive and I don't collect memorabilia, but I like having a Queen. Without her we would be a poorer country in all senses of the word. The blow to tourism alone would be catastrophic and many businesses both big and small would suffer. Yes we will always have our history but there is nothing quite as exciting or glamorous than the prospect of catching a glimpse of real live royalty.

I fully understand that there are people who do not like the monarchy, in fact I'd go as far as to say there are people who positively hate them, and I respect that. However it seems that respect only travels one way with these people, who set out to deliberately spoil the moment. All I can say is that they must be truly miserable, bitter people not to want to rejoice at a new life coming into the world, whoever that life may be.


The other big event this week did not take place in front of the world's media but for me and many others was equally momentous.

Anne Rea died peacefully on 24/07/2013, just one day before her birthday.

The PH community is in shock. We were so full of hope for her, she done so well in the beginning, then she caught an infection and things went downhill cumulating with the rejection that eventually killed her. Anne did not die of PH, she died bravely trying to conquer it in the only way available.

Having visited Anne only last Friday the news hit me very hard. During my, all to brief, visit Anne gave no indication of how bad things were. Either she didn't know or she was protecting me, that's something I'll never know but I now wish I'd stayed longer and not scuttled off with a cheerful 'see you soon' and the promise of a catch up when she left hospital.

When the text arrived first there was complete shock, then distress and then panic.Selfish as it may seem I couldn't help thinking whether I really wanted a transplant at all. I did not want to go through what Anne went through and I wasn't alone apparently. At least two of my PH transplant buddies admitted to having doubts. After a long talk with Peter and a night tossing and turning and weeping for Anne I came to a decision. I'd fought long and hard to get on the transplant list. It took a year of pain and disappointment so should I let one tragedy destroy everything I'd worked so hard for? The answer I came up with was no. Despite what happened to her I don't believe Anne would want anyone to give up their chance of recovery, so why should I sully her memory by using Anne's situation as an excuse for my own cowardice.

Life is not fair, PH is not fair and transplant is not fair. In order to win sometime you have to gamble and sometimes when you gamble you loose.

I will never forget Anne, she was one of the bravest people I've ever met. Breath easy Anne, PH cannot touch you anymore.