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It's the 26th of January again. Six years ago, I insisted on having some blood work done because I felt ill and exhausted and thought I might be slightly anemic. Or at least, suffering from messed up electrolytes because I hadn't been able to keep any food inside me for a few days. Friends had been telling me I wasn't imagining, I really looked ill, for a long time and I finally insisted the doctor was wrong and I needed some blood work.

A few hours later, I was told to rush to hospital ASAP, where I received multiple blood transfusions and began getting tested for bowel disease.

That morning, I didn't feel too concerned. With six years of hindsight, I can read between the lines and see how much of a front I was putting up. When I said I was working from home? I meant that I was lying on the sofa with my laptop on a coffee table, working, because if I sat up for long, I got so light-headed and started to pass out.

The next day, after a night in the ER receiving all that blood, the gravity of it hadn't really sunk in yet. It was so hard to believe I was really sick. Obviously, it sunk in over the next few days, as tests and heavy-duty drugs and so on began. But at that time, I just couldn't accept what had really happened to me and how close it had really been.

If I hadn't had the blood work that day, it's probable I would have gone to bed that night and not woken up. I don't have to speculate--medical professionals have told me that.

The nurse who took my blood that day and put a rush on the results saved my life. The receptionist who took the results off a fax machine and called me to tell me to go to the hospital immediately, she'd send an ambulance if I couldn't get a drive, saved my life.

The doctors and nurses who worked on me saved my life.

The donors who gave their time and their blood saved my life.

The friends who told me I wasn't crazy and should get some tests done saved my life.

Every year, I think I'll forget about this. But every year, I feel so grateful for the extra year I've just had. There are now six years I wouldn't have had without all those people who saved my life.

That time hasn't always been easy. I've had days when I've been in so much pain, I didn't know what to do. I've had days when I'm so fed up with drugs and needles and doctors, I've wanted to stop it all. But the good days have far, far outweighed those and I'm grateful for every one of them, the good days and the bad days.

And so, as has become tradition, I can't forget about that day six years ago when I came so close to dying. I can't forget about all the people who combined to save my life that day.

All I can say is, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, to everyone, thank you for saving my life and for the six years I've been alive since. THANK YOU.

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