Sunday, 1 April 2018

Once Upon a Time in the Land of Fate

Let me take you back to a not-so-sunny day in September, 2015.

A young girl, in her early 20's, was sitting on her sofa next to her friend discussing a potential university ski trip.

"You should come!! It would be so much fun," exclaimed the friend.

After a few moments of deliberation, the young girl decided to say, "F**k it. Let's do it," and with that the deposit was paid and she started to plan her trip to Les Arcs with her university friends.

They were due to go from the 22nd to 29th January, 2016 so the students could get "rat arsed" after all of their exams were finished for that semester.

Her first step was to contact the dialysis travel company, one that she had used on a number of occasions before. The young girls knew they would do everything to help her, as they had done in the past, and assist with any queries she had. They would organise all of her blood tests for leaving, all of her injections she'd need while she was away and liaise with both transplant units (one of which was French!) The lady she dealt with said that the trip would not be a problem and that everything would be sorted out as soon as possible.

The young girl was so excited to finally go on a university ski trip. She had heard about all the brilliant shenanigans that went on: the drunken midnight skiing: the naked, drunken midnight skiing. And even though she would never partake in such a frivolous activity, she was thrilled to be part of it.

A month went by and she had not heard anything from the dialysis travel coordinators. She thought she would phone again. Upon answer, they assured her that everything was getting sorted and she had nothing to worry about.

The young girl carried on as normal with her life and university studies, as well as attending dialysis every day for two hours. After two months of no information, the hospital started asking for more travel details and when they needed to have the blood tests done. The payment deadline was coming up as well so she phoned the coordinators again, this time not very pleased.

She was then informed that the lady who was dealing with her request had recently had a knee operation and had not been into work nor would be returning for another month. Angry at the disregard of her trip, the young girl asked if anything could still be sorted and if anything at all over the last three months had actually been done.

Sadly, it had not, but they said that they would try over the next few days to help. This was so unlike the company as they had been fantastic over the last three years, with no problems whatsoever.

After this, and feeling a little disheartened, the young girl phoned the travel operator and informed them of the situation. With the final payment due in two days, they said that they could postpone the payment by a further three to give her time but if she still could not pay then her holiday would be cancelled.

Feeling very discouraged by all of this, she decided to phone her Mum who always had the perfect answer and advice for everything.

"You know, Katie, I have a funny feeling something is meant to happen while you are away. It's like someone doesn't want you to go and, to be honest, neither do I. Maybe just leave this trip and we will get again."

With that advice taken on board, the young girl was not particularly fussed anymore about going away. And when she found out that the dialysis coordinators could not help her, she was ever so slightly relieved. The travel operator even gave her the deposit back which was very generous.

That day she carried as normal but with a weird feeling lingering over her. That feeling you get when you know something isn't quite right, yet, she felt calm about it. As though someone, somewhere had a plan.  After that day she continued as normal with university and decided to focus on job hunting and planning her Summer.


Six weeks passed without much thought. 

At 40 strokes past 2 in the morning, the young girl received a phone call. Rummaging around in her bedside table where she put her phone that night, which she never did, she answered drowsily.


"Hello Kate, this is the transplant co-ordinator from Edinburgh here. You can probably guess why I'm calling!"


"Well, we have found a match for you. Would you like to get some things together, pick up your notes from Aberdeen hospital and come down to Edinburgh as soon as you can -"

And with that, the ditzy blonde still in a half-land-of-nod haze, jumped out of bed and packed her bag.

As she left, she turned round to lock the door knowing that this was it. This was meant to be. Life would never be the same again.

With one final pause, she looked at her trusty cat sitting on the top stair, looking at her as if to say "good luck. I'll see you when you get home!"

It was a Tuesday. Tuesday, 26th January, 2016.


  1. Amazing story! Wonderful writing! So good to hear your news.

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