Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back from the Brink

We are back home again after 5 weeks in Newcastle-on-Tyne. I have had a massive operation in the International Transplant Centre there and am so grateful to Professor White and his team. This is the only place in Europe that offers this treatment. They operated on me for 16.5 hours non-stop and were able to remove my pancreas and spleen plus clean up my abdomen by repairing a tear in my duodenum. This space-age surgery was filmed by BBC 2 with interviews before and after and is to be the subject of a 90 minute documentary this coming Autumn. The Prof had not seen a pancreas in quite the state of mine, but having the disease for 20 years is the reason. The pancreas was like coal and they had to dig it out. Thankfully the islets of Langerhan (Google that if you want to know more) were able to be harvested in a nearby laboratory and then the Prof transplanted them into my liver where they are already chugging away producing insulin!

My week or more spent in ICU was very demanding and tough, as was the ward but now I am here with no pancreas, no pain, virtually no opiates, plus a healthy set of islets. Praise God! We both (Diane and I) felt that we were so lifted up on people's prayers, and all I can say is that we were recipients of amazing favour in answer to your praying! "Thank you" seems inadequate but it is heartfelt.

The awesome weakness that I feel might last for 3 to 6 months according to the team, or even longer due to my age. I need to learn to really rest and recover though it is all in a good cause. "To God be the glory, great things He has done".