A lifesaving phone call
Dominic Morgan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, inherited due to a genetic fault, which meant he spent his life monitoring his blood glucose levels and injecting insulin up to four times a day.
I was encouraged to become independent with my diabetes almost immediately - and I did. I liked learning new things as a child and wasn’t shy about taking responsibility for my own care. I remember learning how to inject myself with insulin; practicing on an orange.
Dominic’s health was a rollercoaster until his late twenties.
In 2013, everything started going downhill quickly and Dominic, who lives with his partner, Louise, knew there was something wrong with his health.
I didn’t have any glaring symptoms – but Louise and I had an intuition that something was wrong. Living through years of fluctuating blood glucose levels makes you very aware of even the most subtle changes in your body, so I went to have my blood pressure checked, which proved to be high. After a visit to my GP, blood tests confirmed that my kidneys were failing.
In October 2016, Dominic’s kidney function had declined to the point where he was placed on the transplant waiting list. After just six months on the list, with dialysis looming on the horizon, in March 2017 Dominic received the life changing call that a kidney and pancreas were available.
I’m so grateful to the donor family for opting to donate their loved one’s organs, because without their decision, I may not have been so lucky. After the transplant, I experienced some emotional distress, including thoughts about my donor and the gift they gave me. It’s such an overwhelming time in your life, and so I took up playing the piano to help me focus my mind, as a way of coping through this difficult time.
It’s been three years since my transplant and there have been no serious complications with my organs or my eyes. I’ve also sat my first piano exam where I achieved a distinction at grade 2 level.