Susan Lee Clarke
Please allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. I am a married woman
with a little 5½ year old boy called Harry. My name is Susan and my husband is
Harry is a charismatic and energetic bundle of fun and love. I have lived with chronic liver disease since the age of 11. Six years ago my health took a turn for the worse. A year and a half ago I found myself becoming progressively house bound and in the end totally relying on others to care for both my family and myself, life at home was just horrendous.
I cannot begin to tell you what your tremendous gift means to me and my family. I have struggled to find a word that is sufficiently appreciative and big enough to say thank you.
A year and some months ago I took Harry, then 4 years old, to our very local play area. It was time for Harry to have his bicycle stabilisers removed; after two sessions, a box of plasters and an aching back on my part, Harry was just about able to cycle a distance of about 15 metres. Later on that week my health took a turn for the worse and steadily deteriorated to a point where I was housebound and then bed bound: no more visits to the play area with Harry, no more helping Harry to develop his bicycle skills, no more drop offs or pick ups from school. Instead, I watched from my bedroom window or from my bed and slowly, very slowly I watched a year in my son’s life tick past. Family life was not good, my husband’s work suffered, he became extremely tired and desperate as he took on more and more responsibilities in the home.
Your gift to me has meant so much and to give you a small example of just how much your gift has meant to us, please imagine this scenario.
Harry and I were at our local play area last week, his stabilisers were taken off again and I was able to help Harry to ride his bike without his stabilisers. It had been over a year since he had last attempted this, no plasters, no bad back on my part, instead we had smiles and tears of joy and the glow of confidence beaming from Harry, it took just 2 days to bring everything back to us, my husband joined us at the play area, and together we had a great and memorable family time together.
I can honestly say that the memory of the three of us just “being”, smiling, holding each other and crying will live with me forever.
I do not know what normal is, but we do know we have found a new happiness and new warmth together as a family. Thank you so much for your tremendous courage. We are well and truly back on track again, now I am able to hold my husband and son in a way that I have not been able to do for a very, very long time.
Thank you so much
Susan, Andrew and Harry
It has now been over 5 years since Susan’s transplant and Harry not needing stabilisers. Instead, Susan has the energy to cheer Harry on at all his sporting events.