My name is Kristy Thackeray, some of you may know me by my maiden name Plotsky. This is My life – Someone Else’s Heart.
I grew up on an acreage just outside the Medicine Hat city limits. If you have ever traveled on the number 3 highway from Bow Island to Medicine Hat you passed my old house! I have some amazing memories growing up on the farm/acreage.
I had a pretty normal life growing up. The only real medical thing I experienced as kid was asthma. I remember as a child sitting with the ventilator but it wasn’t terrifying and it didn’t stop me from doing the things I loved like, water-skiing, quading, and tobogganing.
By the time I was 12 I was pretty much an average kid – I had two amazing parents who loved me and provided me with everything I needed. I had an older brother who was like most big brothers picking on me, but really protective of anyone else picking on me. You could say my life was pretty awesome until one day everything changed….
I came home from school with flu like symptoms – (you’ll read more about this in the book so I don’t want to give you too many spoilers) and numerous tests with a handful doctors discovered I had an extremely rare heart disease: restrictive cardiopmyopathy. Basically, it was like my heart was turning into a fibrous material and my heart would eventually stop beating. The only treatment is a heart transplant.
May 25, 1996 while on a Wish trip to meet Reba McEntire my pager goes off indicating a donor heart had been found. On May 26, 1996 I received my new heart. My heart donor was Dawn Marie Tremblay of Elk Point, AB. Dawn died in a motor vehicle accident the day before her 23rd birthday. I received my new heart on Dawn’s birthday! Later I would learn so much about Dawn through her parents, Remi and Coral, and her sister, Heather.
In 2001, I gave birth to beautiful twin girls, Shaylynn and McKayla. I always knew from the moment I learned I was pregnant with twins I was going to name Baby A (first born) after Dawn.
Of course my story continues. In 2004, Shaylynn presents with similar flu like symptoms. My worst fear is confirmed – Shaylynn has restrictive cardiomyopathy. Shaylynn receives her lifesaving heart transplant on January 23, 2004.
I don’t want to give you all the spoilers –but just a few more things. In 2010 I marry Wade Thackeray, who is the most amazing man I have ever met and has become an amazing dad to my girls.
June 2015 I finally graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Social Work. That degree is proudly hanging in our home!
I hope you enjoy reading the book as I share my discouragements and victories. I hope you laugh and cry along my journey. Most importantly I hope that when you turn the last page and you close the book that you talk to your family about organ and tissue donation. If it weren’t for organ donation I wouldn’t be here and neither would my daughters.