I have always hanged around special forces types, bikers etc so it might surprise you to hear that the toughest person I ever met was a 14 year old girl.
Around this time of year is a time I start to remember friends Ive lost. June is when I had my first set of lungs put in and I met some great people in hospital who became great friends who have since left us. One person I met was a young girl called Kylie.We had become friends and both had hoses in out throats and talked using white boards.
Before I go too far a little background to help you understand. The first time I had lungs in I was in ICU for 38 days. Some people come out after a week walking talking etc. I wasnt one of those. I was still incubated and my lungs didnt start working after being weaned down on off machines. I had weighed 85 kilo before going in and 60 after woods, It took me all my time just to walk to the door of my room.
I had my respirator blown up on me and had to breath on my own for seven and a half minutes, they were about to start bagging me when they managed to hook me up to the next respirator. I wasnt able to have an epidural due to me back, so I was on a lot of morphine and in daylight for that 38 days. Lets just say I wasnt able to turn off a light for 6 months and had lots of PTSD from my experiences.
The second set I was in ICU for 58 days and was knocked out for most of that thankfully. I came out weighing 50 kilo and took four people to lift me out of bed and couldnt raise my head by myself. I had lost that much muscle. When I finally escaped hospital It took me 2 endone and a six pack of beer to walk the dog around the block. When people say I should write about my experiences this is why I dont and Im leaving a lot out.
So when I say the toughest person I ever met was a 14 year old girl youll now understand when I say it. Kylie spent 9 months in hospital. She had a double lung transplant and was up a week later walking trying to get off a portable respirator. She then had a stroke and was partially paralyzed and was a up a week later walking around trying to get that hose out of her neck. Her kidneys then failed and she had a second transplant from another donor for a kidney and was up a week later exercising her lungs.
This is how tough this kid was and I dont know many adults that could have gone though what she had. So every time I get slack or too tired or in pain I think of her and get off my backside and push myself harder.
When I was stuck in hospital for a month with pneumonia and was too tired to get out of bed I would think of her strength and push myself and do laps of the hallways in my walking frame. Every time I was dragging my arse around with no muscle in my legs from months in ICU I would think of her. When I was on 15 litres of oxygen, I would get the nurses every hour on the hour to turn the oxygen down quarter of a turn to wean myself down and it felt like I was being bagged with a plastic bag over my head for 15 minutes. I would think of Kylie and push myself through it.
So I wanted to share kylies story and maybe it would help someone else to push through their limits of strength as she did for me.
What happened to kylie? A nurse over dosed her on warfarin and she clotted into her lungs and never got back out of ICU. She passed not 30 feet from me. For the 14 short years she spent in this world her strength has carried me through the past 20 years. I dont like letting my friends be forgotten.