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Friday, 23 June 2017

My Experience.

I never share this story as Its quite personal and also I never talk much about it. Today I want to share my story of going through a liver transplant, I want to share my experience to help people or just put the message out there for people that may be going through this today and need some hope and encouragement to get through their experience. 
So here goes.....

Hello, my name is Shula Jenkins and I am 22 years old. I was born with a liver disease called Biliary Atresia. Everything my family and I had to go through; the many hospital appointments and smaller operations I needed since birth I fortunately can not remember due to being so young, but I was lucky enough to be able to have a liver transplant when I was 6 years old. I was put on a waiting list for a transplant when I was five years old after I coughed up blood but it was soon sorted and fixed.
On the 10th april 2001 at 4 o'clock in the morning my mum received a phone call from Kings College in London to say they had a donar that was a match for me, so an ambulance would arrive to pick me up and take me to the hospital in London where I would have my transplant. From this moment on, everything happened very quickly and all seems a bit of a blur to me, I remember getting into the hospital with my parents and being greeted by hospital staff and told to sit on a bed. The next thing I knew, I had the transplant and was waking up and trying to adjust to the equipment around me and the tubes and wires that were attatched to me, helping to monitor, feed and medicaite me.
The next day, after my huge operation, I was moved into a ward. This meant it was easier for my family to visit and spend time with me. From this day on, I would receive physiotherapy to help me move from the bed to the chair, then once I was strong enough, the staff would help me to walk to the play area so I could play games,etc.
I still had to be monitored, having tubes attached to my stomach, hand and neck, helping me take necessary medication and to remove any waste. These tubes were removed in the first week, which helped me move easier and become a bit more mobile. I did have a few set back with being in pain  but with the hospital staffs helped me, I was soon feeling better. After making such good progress I was able to leave the hospital and go home after 3 weeks. After 3 weeks I was soon playing in the children's park enjoying myself.
I was sent home with all my medication I needed and my parents/family was shown how I needed to take them. I had to be away from school for 6 months, which I didn't mind at all, but when I returned I was slightly behind, so had a lot of catching up to do. 
I had to still take all my medication and attend regular hospital appointments and blood tests, but over the years each of these decreased and now I only need to take two anti-rejection tablets morning and evening and only attend one hospital appointment a year to make sure everything is okay. 
I went to study art and design at college and now I am in full time work, working with young children.
I wanted to share my story, so that anybody who is waiting for a transplant or families who have a child with a liver complaint like I had, I hope it will show that everything can be all right and although waiting for a transplant or having a disease, like this, can be a very troubling time, you can get through it and go on to live a happy and healthy life!
Thank you for reading about my experience :)


Sunday, 26 March 2017

22 on the 22nd of march 2017

Recently I turned 22 on the 22nd of March 2017. I was actually quite excited to turn 22, the main reason was because I was turning the age of the date I was born which only happens once. 

I had a great day, the sun was out, I was spending time with my family and I had a amazing homemade cake done by my sister ready for me to eat at home. I went out to the titanic museum in Southampton which was brilliant, I saw many artefacts and read loads of information about the titanic that I never actually knew before, like girls at school got taught how to do house work so they were ready to be housewives when they were older, that really shocked me, it just shows how much time has changed over the years.
I also watched a few films in the museum from people who were on the ship when it started to sink and It was fascinating to hear all the stories about how terrible that night was for millions of people.

Once we were all done, we got back home, I opened all my lovely presents which I loved each and every one. We then all got ready for a lovely meal out which ended the night perfectly. 

I can't believe I'm 22, I still don't look a day over 16 years old. I'm looking forward to see what the 22nd year of my life brings. I'm excited to explore different places, different food or just meet new people.

Here are a few photos of my 22nd birthday!