Celebrating the gift of a lifetime – 13 extra years of living

On May 3, thirteen years ago, I was in a coma. My body was failing fast and doctors said I had about 24 hours left to live. But a decade and three years later, I’m still here, and I’m so grateful things turned out better than anyone expected.

My family added me to the organ transplant registry. Many people languish for years on the list, waiting for a transplant, but I went to the top of the list right away. Someone in Arizona died. They had decided to be an organ donor and I was a perfect match.

Twelve hours of surgery later, my body began to function normally again, thanks to the gift of an organ transplant. My family and I celebrate May 3 every year, grateful for the gift of another year. But I’m always mindful, as we are celebrating life, a family in Arizona is remembering the life of someone they lost.

“The gift of life is so precious that we should feel an obligation to pay back the universe for the gift of being alive.”

Ray Bradbury

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”


Every day is precious, but sometimes it takes reminders like my transplant anniversary to bring it all into proper perspective. Sometimes we’re so busy with life, we forget to live. 

James 4:4 says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Life is short. It’s fragile. It’s unpredictable and precious. Seize the opportunity to pay back the universe for the gift of being alive. Give yourself the gift of living well. 

I invite you to join me in celebrating another day of life. Live well, be grateful, and dare to live the life you’ve imagined. 

This post was originally posted on my author site, kevinjohndelaney.com.

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