• Wills Porter

Like a Second Home

Updated: Apr 13

Twenty years ago, I received my life-saving transplant. Ever since then, I have been to hundreds of doctor appointments and spent a large amount of time in the hospital. As much as I love being home, I also have come to love the hospital. You may be wondering why I would say this. Allow me to explain.

When I was a child, school was hard. Specifically, social relationships. The physical effects of my transplant were abundantly clear to my classmates. My scar and other physical characteristics made it obvious that I was different. While physical scars existed, other psychological scars also existed (most of these were caused by my cardiac arrest and seizure). To my peers, being different was bad. In school, few peers were genuinely interested in my transplant story. Despite the challenges of school, there was hope. That hope was my regular liver clinic appointment. When I went to my clinic appointment, I was around doctors and fellow transplant warriors who knew my story and knew the challenges I had overcome. I was never questioned. Rather, I was accepted. For that one day of transplant clinic, I felt more comfortable than I ever did in school. The hospital was like my second home. As I have gotten older, the hospital has become more of a home to me. Whenever I go to clinic, I see fellow transplant recipients. Seeing others like me remines me that I am not alone in my journey.

Recently a friend asked me why I felt like the hospital felt like home. Here was my response…

“Being sick stinks, don’t get me wrong. However, when I am in a big hospital, I am around people who truly care, people who know what I have been through and can understand it. The folks there are more genuine than most. In the hospital you see pain but when success happens you are the first to see it. When I am in the hospital, I see people in need of hope. The beautiful thing is that I can be that person who can provide encouragement and hope to those who need it most.

The hospital can either be a prison or a pasture. The hospital can be a restrictive place that is void of all hope. At the same time, the hospital can be a pasture. In a pasture you are free to roam You have freedom to take advantage of little victories. Unlike the prison, there is hope. Doctors and medical staff provide care and support. Like all pastures there will be bad spots (you know what I mean). Yet, these bad spots are rather small when compared to the rest of the pasture. It is all about your mentality. Are you a victim or are you an opportunist? Every situation presents challenges, it is how you respond that makes the difference.”

I love the hospital because the hospital reminds me of the great pain and the great triumphs of my transplant journey. As I write this blog post there are people in the hospital going through their own transplant journey. Some days, I wish I could see these people. Some days I want to drop everything and visit these people. Some days, I want to go to home.

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