Sunday, November 14, 2010

In favour of omens

I am not one for taking an event or a twist of circumstance and trying to massage it into ‘an omen’. It seems a very imprecise science, based more of the viewpoint of the fatalist who is trying to categorise it than an actual message from the universe.

But occasionally, even I have those moments where in my limited teenage brain vocabulary I think “that’s mad”.

Today, I happened upon a chance meeting that got me hoping that Fortuna was finally making her way down my aisle. I met the man who will save my life.

I do some casual work from time to time on a particular radio show and was called in for this morning. Initial grumbling about the early start on a morning cloaked in the meddling work of Mr Jack Frost quickly lifted when I discovered one of the guests on the show was David Hickey.

I have mentioned his name before, but as a reminder, he is head of the Kidney Transplant unit at Beaumont Hospital (he’s also a bit of maverick when it comes to many of his views and a great speaker – hence the occasional media appearances in between episodes in scrubs).

I made it my business to say hello to him and explain we had met before in an office in Beaumont when he was considering whether I was suitable to be listed for transplant.

He didn’t remember me. Of course not. I am one of many failed bodies who pass through his unit, seeking alms in the form of donated organs.

But he was gracious and interested in hearing I was on dialysis, and I think I may have detected a hint of surprise in his voice when he heard how long I have been waiting for the call.

Our encounter was brief, conversation short between journeys to and from studio and interrupted by other people caught up in the immediacy of the radio broadcast and not realising that our chat was about my life and death and his means of bouying the former and preventing the latter.

How odd that this man who flitted in and out of my Sunday morning is the surgeon who will most probably give me my life back at some appointed hour in the future that is as yet unknown.

I’m choosing to believe this is a good omen.

There is that old joke between friends about hoping to meet again soon under different circumstances, but on bidding farewell to Mr Hickey today, it seemed appropriate to throw out that punchline and mean it in the best possible sense.

“Under different circumstances, yes...under anaesthetic”.


  1. "bouying the former and preventing the latter"


  2. I hope that when you next meet David Hickey it is in the course of his vocation, not yours as was the case this time.

    John Harper
    Regina, Saskatchewan.

  3. Holemaster - The verb 'to bouy' isn't used half enough in my opinion

    John - I hope so too...seeing as the surgeon is the one who makes the call about who gets a donated kidney, it can't hurt to bump into Mr Hickey from time to time!

  4. Slacking off a bit here Regina?