My Transplant Journey: Why I’ve No Regrets


In the coming weeks, I’m due to go into hospital (fingers crossed) for what will hopefully be my final transplant. Yep, keratoconus and I are about to part ways. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited. It’s been a long, difficult journey  but on reflection, I’ve no regrets. I want to be clear: I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But I had a choice: sink or swim? I chose to swim (after a period of sinking, I confess).

In a perfect world, keratoconus would never have come into my life but it did and there’s nothing I can do about that. There’s no point thinking ‘Why me?’ because ‘Why not me? What makes me so special?’ I started to view keratoconus as an irritating relative who had overstayed their welcome and was on their very last cup of tea (I don’t make tea for just anyone, haha).

I’m not the same person anymore. I don’t have the outlook on life I once did and some of my goals have changed.  I remember the days I was literally drooling over Chloe bags, day dreaming about owning one of my very own (just to point out, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having this dream or owning a designer bag).  Actually, there was talk of getting me a bag as a transplant present but I’ve turned it down. I don’t want a designer bag to signify one of the most important moments of my life. All I want is my eyesight back. There isn’t a gift in the world that would even compare.

We take so many things for granted in life and I never gave my eyesight a second thought. For twenty-eight years I took my vision for granted until keratoconus walked through the front door. I’ve had one successful transplant and I know I’ll have another. But if something does go wrong, nothing in my life will change because I’ll keep going. I deserve to keep going.

Look around you. Can you identify the struggles people are going through? We all face challenges and go through difficult times, there are no exceptions. I felt so alone because I didn’t know anyone else who suffered from keratoconus until I started my blog. Not only have I become friends with some amazing people across the world who are just starting their transplant journey (or have come out the other side) but I’ve learned everyone faces struggles the rest of the world are blind to. I don’t feel alone anymore because I now realise I never was.

If it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I probably wouldn’t have started this blog (and met so many wonderful bloggers). If it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I wouldn’t have recorded a radio documentary on my transplant journey. If it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I wouldn’t be able to share my story with others. And if it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I wouldn’t have learned to really appreciate what I have in the here and now. Mr Blues and I were making dinner one night and we just started dancing for no reason. He doesn’t realise it, but that was a really special moment for me.

It’s looking like my final transplant will be fairly soon and I’ve decided not to share the exact date with anyone (other than my family and Mr Blues, who needs to come visit me in hospital with tea and chocolate). I’ll probably schedule a blog post to go live on the day whilst I’m at hospital, I’m not sure yet. I feel like I need to face this final hurdle on my own because it’s the end of such a long journey.

I hope you take something from this blog post and I don’t want to sound like an overprotective mother, but look after your eyes. The cause of keratoconus is unknown but please, never take your vision for granted. What I wouldn’t give to be chasing a fly around the room with an old copy of Glamour like I remember doing years ago (strange, the memories that come back to you).  And whatever challenges you face in life, make sure you swim. Your hopes, dreams and ambitions are important.

Keep going. You got this.

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  • It’s amazing how we can rise out of struggles and dark times, recover and make something better with our lives because of it. Good luck with your transplant, I’m sure everything will go well.

  • It’s so easy to take something like being able to see for granted – thank you for the reminder!
    Good luck with your transplant, hope everything goes smoothly for you <3

  • EXACTLY! I always tell people who are in a bad mood or sad or just feel 100% dejected that, there is always someone out there that has it worse and they just need to KEEP ON SWIMMING! 😉

  • I love the fact you have blogged you keratoconus journey I know when I was diagnosed I felt very alone – I’m still not sure I’m ready for transplants, though I know one day it will get to the point where I “have” to. But at least I know I am not alone.

  • Thank you for writing about your feelings before going in for your (hopefully) final transplant. Sending you so many positive vibes, really hope everything works out for you. x

  • Oh hun :/ it is true that we take things for granted myself included, I wish i was better at being grateful. You have been through the works hun and I love that you are so positive.

  • I hope the operation goes smoothly. It sounds like you’ve really gone through a tough time, but have had a positive outlook which I think is key. xxxx

  • I’m so, so proud of you. I had tears in my eyes reading this blog post because I just think you are the most amazing person for facing up to this and choosing to swim. So many people would have let it sink them. You are so strong. I totally respect your decision to keep the date a secret, but know that I am here for you before, during, after. Whenever you need me, just text me, facebook me, tweet me. I will be there. And I’m sending all the positive vibes and wishes for a speedy recovery! Love ya xx

  • Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
    It seems to be my daily motto at the moment, especially when going through dark periods.
    Sending you lots of warm, fuzzy vibes x

  • A great and important post Sarah. I wish you a speedy recovery after your surgery.

    You’re so right about how something can completely change you. things that seems important before don’t even measure on the radar anymore.

    Take care of yourself xx

  • Hey Sarah! I first read this post a few days after you published it and didn’t know what to comment because I didn’t want to come across as insincere. But I truly think you’re an inspiration. You’ve gone through so much and come out the other side fighting. You have so much positivity and won’t let anything get the better of you. I had never heard of your condition until I started reading your blog last year so thanks for raising awareness, I’m sure you’re helping people in the same boat as you. I’m so proud to know you! Nic x

  • Because of this blog and the wonderful messages Sarah sent I was much more at ease and less nervous when I went in for my cornea transplant. After months of finding “horror stories” on the internet regarding this I’m not sure how well I would have coped without coming into contact with Sarah. I am now 3 weeks post transplant. Thank you Sarah and Good Luck for the next one xxx

  • You’re so inspiring and brave. I know I just told you on Twitter but good luck in the future I can’t wait to heard your stories as new woman without Keratoconus!

  • I was just having a conversation with someone how you really don’t appreciate these things that many of us are born with and when we lose or end up in ill health that we’re reminded but thank you for reminding me that we all go through these dark periods but it’s how we deal with them. I hope everything goes well x

    • Awww thank you so much for your comment. As my transplant date draws closer, I am getting more nervous and at times, doubt my own inability to mentally and physically get through the long recovery. I know I will though – as I have before- and come out the other side stronger. I’ll never take my eyesight for granted again. I’m ashamed it took something like this to make me realise how grateful I should be to have my vision. I just hope it all goes well and I get my eyesight back in my right eye. I’m glad you took something from my post, thank you. Have a great week! xx

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