The point at which the individual feels back in charge of their life and health is a critical step to return to health. This is seen in the contrast of the ‘transplant patient’ and the ‘transplant recipient’. The patient is under the primary care of the transplant team and medical issues are central to the survival of the patient, whether in or out of the hospital. The recipient is stable enough medically, and confident enough, personally, to make decisions. Being a recipient includes the responsibility of self-management for having blood levels monitored, taking medication, and knowing when to contact the transplant team. Individuals go back and forth during health crisis from the roles of recipient and patient. An assumption in this stage is that some individuals never move from the patient role, continuing to see themselves in the dependent ‘patient’ role, never returning to health.

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