Transplant Turns Ten

Yesterday it was ten years since I had my kidney transplant, which has given us as a family a cause to be extra grateful, celebrate and eat cake.  At this time of year I am especially beholden to the family who donated their loved one’s kidney, enabling my health and quality of life to improve dramatically.  

In the spring Max and Keira’s Law will change organ donation in England to an ‘opt out’ system, which means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate. The NHS are asking everyone to: record their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and tell their family and friends what they have decided.  Families will still have the final decision. 

As of 10th January this year there are: 6167 people waiting for a transplant, and every day someone dies waiting for a transplant.  

On my tenth birthday I wrote a poem in the form of William Blake’s The Tyger, so yesterday it seemed fitting to write one for my kidney.   My transplanted kidney came from someone older than my mother.  How weird to think that something inside me has been on this earth longer than my mother has!

My Transplant

Kidney Kidney, turning ten,
In the bodies of young men;
What ultimate gift from grief,
Could dying restore hope’s belief?

What memories are secured
Within your double lives endured?
What joys? What sorrows? And what pains?
As you beat life’s path – again.

Kidney Kidney, turning ten,
In the bodies of young men;
What ultimate gift from grief,
In dying restored hope’s belief?

5 thoughts on “Transplant Turns Ten

  1. Congratulations Jonathan on what I’m sure will be the first poem ever written in praise of a kidney!
    Your donor’s family must be happy that their loss gave you a better life.
    Best wishes,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jonathan. Happy New Year to you and your family. It was good to see you at Lambeth palace albeit briefly before Christmas. I have been asked to do assemblies at a local High School at the end of March on the theme of meeting challenges being resilient and persevering. The Deputy head has read your book and I have donated a copy to the school library. I will do 5 assemblies in a week, one with each year group. I would like to use your story if that’s ok with you. Also to include anything you might like me to. Warmly in Christ Urszula



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Johnathan, I love your writing and read your poem to my 13 year old son too. Your writing is fabulously elegant and easy to read. It’s a joy. And a poem about a kidney, what a crazy but wonderful idea. Love it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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