MOST people would have given up hope of getting an organ transplant after almost a decade on the waiting list, especially at the age of 70, but not Oak Flats grandmother Lorna Thomas.
Mrs Thomas said she knew the call would come one day, and when it did - last Tuesday - she was mentally and physically prepared.
The mother of six, and grandmother of 14, is now recovering after kidney transplant surgery at Prince of Wales Hospital and hopes to be home by the weekend.
"I've always been positive, always," she said. "I was always saying that I would get a kidney for sure - even when I knew others had given up hope.
"My husband Alan just cried when I got the call as he didn't think I'd ever get one, but I didn't laugh, I didn't cry.
"Even though I'd remained positive it still felt a bit unreal - I felt like I was outside my body, floating around the house like a breeze."
Mrs Thomas first talked to the Mercury for a story on organ donation last November.
Back then she said she wouldn't let her condition, caused by childhood reflux, stop her living her life. Yet now, thanks to the kindness of strangers, she's been given the chance of a different life.
"It's just the most beautiful gift - I'd love to be able to thank the family who gave me that gift to let them know how thankful I am, how much I treasure it," she said.
It's a timely reminder of the importance of organ donation, with Donate Life Week starting on Sunday.
NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service spokeswoman Ellie McCann said there were about 1600 Australians currently on the waiting list for organs (hearts, lungs, liver, kidney and pancreas).
"In 2012, 354 organ donors transformed the lives of 1052 Australians," she said.
"The key theme for 2013 is to make your wish count - discover, decide and discuss organ donation. Talk to your family, friends and loved ones about your decision so if they are ever faced with that decision then they know your wishes."
A transplant is not a quick fix - Mrs Thomas will need constant check-ups and she will be on anti-infection pills for the rest of her life - but it sure beats the alternative.
"Last Monday morning, just a week ago, I would have been hooked up to a dialysis machine - in fact I had to undergo dialysis for five hours a day, four days a week," she said.
"It makes you pretty exhausted and stops you from travelling and doing other things you want to.
"I've just been lying awake at night since the operation thinking, 'Thank God, no more dialysis'."
To add your name to the Australian Organ Donation Register, or get more information, visit www.donatelife.gov.au