My story - going through post-transplant recovery like a masked fighter

This blog post is written by Niccolo' Scelfo, sharing his post-transplant journey after a liver transplant.

 

When you are diagnosed with a rare condition so serious that you have to undergo an immediate liver transplant, you don't really have many choices: you accept your fate and put yourself in the hands of doctors, nurses and - if you're lucky like I have been – supportive relatives and friends, trying not to think too much about how your life will change from the moment you’ll leave the operating room. And believe me, it will, in a million different ways.

The choice you have, however, is how to face the post-transplant journey: keeping a positive mindset can really make a difference and that’s what I’ve been fighting for since the very first day. To be able to be consistent, though, I needed to put on a smile on my face and go back to basics, learning how to stand, walk, eat and breathe again in the healthiest and least energy-consuming way. Think of a newborn with a fragile immune-system trying to beat the hard-to-change habits of an adult… Not so easy, right?

The recovery process is obviously different for each patient, but we all have something in common: mandatory lifestyle changes to prevent or at least reduce the risk of infection. One of these is the need to wear an air mask for the first months following surgery, especially while going to crowded places. The standard disposable ‘courtesy mask’ (aka ‘surgical mask’: the ones you usually spot in medical drama television programs) did not represent the best option to me: I didn’t want that little thing to cause me additional discomfort and social anxiety attracting totally unnecessary looks of concern or pity.

That’s when I started looking for an air mask that would make me feel protected and accepted, fighting my way through adversities like a masked hero (well, this is what I told my young nephew when he spotted me wearing that black mask for the first time). Airinum Urban Air Mask 2.0 has been the answer: let me quickly tell you why.

Having lived in Japan and Singapore, where air masks are pop-culture fashion statements, helped me narrow the field in finding what I was looking for: I wanted something that could offer me a good way to prevent the breathing of bacteria, but also give me extra protection for air pollution, haze or dust particles. I also wanted to wear on my face a cool design object that could match my style: after all, if it was a lifestyle change I needed to face, let it be one that could add something to my life rather than take it away.

Airinum air mask replaceable filter technology, their unique colorways, and the more sustainable alternative offered - switching from disposable to re-usable – immediately convinced me to order a mask and filters online: I received them in two days and the packaging was top-notch.   

Having shared my journey on my Instagram profile (http://www.instagram.com/ncclsclf), other transplant survivors reached out to ask smart questions about wearing a mask, making me feel like I was not the only one in need of more information about the technical features and certifications of masks on the market.

Turning adversities into advantages are what I am trying to achieve every day of my recovery journey: this mask gives me the chance to get rid of one problem which is crucial not only for us transplant survivors but for everyone who wants to live a happier and healthier life. It may hide my smile, but in the eyes of my nephew I see the reflection of a masked hero, and that makes all the difference in the world.

 

Written by Niccolo' Scelfo

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