The morning after my first bowel resection over 21 years ago, I was lying in bed still woozy from anesthetic. A troop of white coated doctors entered the room and surrounded my bed. It was my surgical team.
The lead resident was filling me in on how successful the operation was, how much bowel was removed, when he added, “Oh, by the way, while we were in there we removed your appendix too.”
He was much too casual about taking one of my body parts. I panicked momentarily, groping myself between my legs to make sure the surgeons hadn’t got carried away “while they were in there”!
I’ve learned to live with the consequences of those missing lengths for a couple of decades. I know I’ve been lucky. There are people in far worse condition than me. Then 5 days ago I came across Michael Seres online.
Michael didn’t just have a bowel resection. After years of chronic Crohn’s disease his bowel completely collapsed. A resection wasn’t going to do the trick. He needed a whole new bowel and was slated to be one of the very first people in the UK to undergo a bowel transplant.
The transplant took place in October, 2011. It hasn’t been an easy journey. But on Sunday, June 8, 2012, Michael sets a new standard in guts and glory by being an Olympic Torchbearer for the 2012 London Olympics.
You can watch him walk streamed live online here at approximately 9 a.m. EDT. If you miss it, we’ll be featuring it next week on our site.
We’re also going to be featuring Michael’s writings which are honest, enlightening, and visceral. With all that he’s undergone, he continues to understand the inherent connection between his reality and that of his wife and children. Through his constant blogging, and that of his wife Justine and young son Nathan, we will share all the intimate details of this unique story.
Even as one who has lost parts of my gut, I have difficulty relating to losing it all, then getting someone else’s to replace it. Michael Seres is my new hero. Aside from offering himself up as a guinea pig for this procedure, he’s taking us all along for the ride.
Thanks Michael. It’ll be exciting to see your walk on Sunday. Be careful playing with torches.
Here’s a couple of Michael’s blog posts to get you started.
Michael Seres talks about his bowel transplant experience relating it to how and why patients need to be part of the decision making process. He speaks to surgeons, clinicians and doctors at the Intestinal Transplant Symposium held in Oxford in June 2013. Follow Michael on Twitter @mjseres Or his blog Being A Patient Isn't Easy More from Michael Seres Read More…
Friday, 7 October 2011 Well we just got the call that a bowel has become available and we are now on route to oxford. It really is the most nerve racking thing you could ever wish to happen. My wife and I just didn't know what to say to each other when the call came. They have told me so far that my estimated surgery time is 7am as they have to retrieve the bowel. Also they cannot give the final go ahead until they see the bowel. I will keep you posted as to what happens. Am currently on Read More…
(Editor's Note: This is Michael's first blog since the transplant). So let me recap about life from my perspective since 8th October. Somehow I seem to have blogged a day after my op from intensive care. In truth I have absolutely no memory of doing that at all. In fact I have no real recollection of the first few days post transplant at all. Obviously I have been told all about the care given to me and the team that looked after me but I feel terrible because I don't even remember who did what. My last memory before the Read More…