Acknowledgement: ABC Online 9 June 2017
I was on the donor registry for less than five years when I got the call to say I was a match. The chance was pretty low - I guess it's a weird lottery.
The process wasn't drawn out but there were a bunch of general health check-ups, the initial typing and there was a discussion about the process involved.
I was told I could stop anytime up until a point of no return, I think a week or two before the transplant. You can't pull out in the last week because the [recipient] will almost certainly die.
Part of the workup is self-administering a course of an artificial hormone for five days into the flesh of my stomach. By day four or five, everything ached - like growing pains or shin splints.
The procedure itself was sitting in a chair, sticking my arms out by my side and local anaesthetic [being injected] in the crook of both elbows. To prevent damaging blood and increase the flows, they use big needles, they were ridiculous. That's why you have the anaesthetic!
Then I just lay in a chair and listened to music for four hours.
The process wasn't painful or bad, just uncomfortable and a little bit cold.
I don't regret it at all, I'd definitely do it again - it helped someone and it might be their only chance.