This interview holds a special place in my heart, and not only because Jacob is my brother, and my living donor. It’s a unique insight into the experience of an organ donor, one I, as a transplant recipient, cannot fully understand. I am one side of the story, the donor is another, and together we come together to create the transplant community.
Jacob is a university student, currently working towards an English degree and minoring in theology and communications. His hobbies include working out, playing sports, reading and watching movies (He lists Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and the Chronicles of Narnia among his favourites).
As a donor, he underwent surgery to remove 60% of his liver and, despite challenges along the way, he describes his recovery process as fairly easy and straightforward. This may not be what everyone would say, but he credits an amazing medical team for his recovery, and upon entering the transplant centre, I can confidently say he is still more popular than me. Young, physically fit and the most generous guy around, Jacob quickly became the topic of conversation all around the hospital, and he is still an inspiration to doctors and nurses today.
Going back to the basics and relearning how to walk post surgery was an enlightening and oddly enjoyable experience, says Jacob. As a busy college student, he was also forced to rest and recover, giving him an entirely new perspective on life.
His sense of humour kept him going through the bumps in the road, from asking his doctor when he could hit the gym again after waking up post surgery to shrugging and saying “You win some, you lose some” when it came to his near death experience overdosing on pain medication while on the recovery floor.
Throughout the whole process, with all it’s complex losses, Jacob says it is beyond worth it. He draws his inspiration from people who are doing what they love, living life to the fullest.
Jacob is passionate about living life and loving others. And I am beyond proud to be his big sister.
(Jacob would also like me to add he is currently single and now accepting applications for potential dates)