However, these days grandmother Sheona Fortune focuses on the good luck in her life on after an organ transplant called time on years of misery.
Behind her smiles is the grandson she so longed to be able to pick up, play with and take to the park – but could not because of her chronic kidney failure – as they prepare to launch a Christmas card campaign encouraging more people to sign up for organ donation.
“Jack is such a special wee boy, and I really struggled when he was born not being able to do all the things I would want to do as a gran as I was so ill,” said Mrs Fortune. “It was traumatising.
“He understands now exactly how ill I was and asks lots of questions as to why I couldn’t be made better straight away.”
Jack, nine, a pupil at Stobhill Primary in Gorebridge, has designed a Christmas card that will be available for free in the St James Centre from Monday, with an organ donor sign-up form inside for shoppers.