On Sunday, June 16th --Bloomsday, by the way... ;)--, I participated in the Spanish national pneumology and thoracic surgery congress. I was asked by SEPAR to provide my interpretation of a patient's perspective on transplants.
I was a real pleasure. Seven years have gone by since I was lucky enough to receive a second chance at life. On June 17th 2006 I received a double lung transplant that brought me back from the induced coma the doctors had been forced to subject me to. And things could not possibly have gone better since then.
In Barcelona I had the chance to meet other patients, with whom I struck immediate connections. Pachi, Sandra, Sonia, Pilar, Antonio, Amparo... Each with their personal story of hanging on to life, supported by their families, overcoming any obstacles. Some for an 18 year period, and running!
I have said it many times: the national transplants organization (ONT) is a clear example of something that does work impressively well in our country. If only we, Spaniards, were able to apply more often the lessons learnt from this fantastic case study, many things would work a lot better.
The system empowers a group of highly committed top professionals working hand in hand with a clear mission and a transparent, rational structure. Without crooked incentives or inefficiency-inducing decision making distortions. And the results are visible.
A big thank you is in order, particularly in times like this, when our public health service is affected by significant budget cuts and future privatization scenarios.
Here is the interview (in Spanish).