It’s hard enough to plan a funeral for a loved one, but can you imagine having to plan your own? That's what Kirsty Harvey did when she found out that her cystic fibrosis had taken a dire turn.
She desperately needed a lung transplant, but she had only a 50% chance of finding a successful match. During this scary and difficult time, she thought often of her family. She said, "I couldn't deal with the after-effects it would have on my loved ones. How are my parents going to pick up the pieces? How are my sisters going to live without me being there?" Kirsty then decided to make her own funeral preparations to spare her family the heartache of having to do it themselves.
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On her 26th birthday, Kirsty received miraculous news: an organ donor had been found. She spent the next few hours waiting to find out if it would be a match or not. She used this time to laugh and watch movies with her family, determined to have one last good memory with them in case the worst should happen.
Fortunately for Kirsty, the good news kept coming that day. The donor was a match, and after an intensive nine-hour-long surgery, she had a new and stronger set of lungs, which she has definitely been putting to good use!
Since her surgery, she's traveled all over the world. And in 2015, instead of planning her funeral, she was planning her wedding to the man of her dreams, Dougie Harvey, who had been with her through thick and thin for over eight years. The two of them threw an engagement party to celebrate their future union, but shocked guests when they announced that the party was actually the wedding! According to Kirsty, "Getting wed was a dream come true as I never thought I would live long enough for it to happen."
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Though the surgery happened back in 2007, it has stayed an important part of her daily life since. She says, "Every single day I thank the family for choosing to follow my donor's wishes at a time of utter devastation. They will always be kin and my heroes." Kirsty is also an ambassador for Live Life, Give Life, a charity that supports positive conversations about organ donation.
How inspiring that after having a life-saving surgery herself, she is working to ensure that other people can have that same second chance at life!
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