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Look beyond the heart
Look beyond the heart
29 Willingdon Avenue,
Nicola's sister Jessica Langlands has now taken over the running of Look Beyond The Heart.
My name is Nicola Langlands and in 1976 I was born with half of a heart, at that time there was nothing the doctors could do for me. However, In 1989 when I was 13 years old I was rushed to Harefield Hospital where I was given the most wonderful gift by an amazing family who donated their son's Heart and Lungs. That was 24 years ago now, and I can honestly say I have lived the most amazing fulfilled life so far. It hasn't been easy, it's been very challenging and it's taught me a lot about myself and Transplantation, and the need for Transplant aftercare.
You can't heal over a few weeks, months or even years. It takes time and patience to really understand and deal with the issues that can affect you after the Transplant. Even now I'm still dealing with the after-effects the Transplant has left me with, and I know there are lots more adults and children out there who are to finding it hard to deal with it to.
So, that is why I've set up Look Beyond the Heart. I guess I should tell you a bit more about the reason why I set up Look Beyond the Heart. After my Transplant, I personally found the mental side to the Transplant more traumatic than the physical side. Now I don’t know if it was because I was only the 12th Child in the UK ever to have a Transplant, and it was all too new for even the doctors to understand. I feel it would have been nice to have been able to mix with more children who like me had a Transplant so that maybe I could understand a bit more about what was happening to my mind, body, soul and spirit. But sadly I had to deal with it on my own, and I did it the best I could without letting people know I really cracking up inside.
But in those days the risk of infections was a lot higher, and I only think it was higher because the doctors didn’t really know what to treat us with.
The medication was very strong and the side effects were very unkind to me and my body, but they were keeping me alive. On one side of the coin I was being made better and was able to live a fairly normal life, but on the other side, I had a different issue to deal with which I guess made me stronger. It would have been nice if there was an aftercare plan put in place, where each patient was offered Counselling, Physio Therapy, Art Therapy and supporting a healthy diet.
I guess the real blessing that was sent to me after my Transplant was my beautiful daughter Megan. Having her after my Transplant not only healed my mind and body but my spirit and soul. I know without her in my life I would be a lost soul.