Receiving a life-saving transplant is a big deal. If you have young children, it can seem especially overwhelming. It is important to help them understand what a transplant is and how it may change your life \u2014 and theirs.\nIf you are on the transplant waiting list, it\u2019s important to create a plan as soon as possible so your family is prepared when the call comes. If you are receiving a living donor transplant, planning will be a little easier since you are able to schedule the transplant surgery. These guidelines can help you prepare your children for what will happen.\nHelp them understand your situation\nMaybe your kids have noticed that you\u2019re not as energetic. Maybe they already know you\u2019re sick and have visited you in the hospital. No matter the situation, explain what is going on.\nThe idea of a transplant can be difficult for young children to understand. So, let them know you are having an operation to get healthy and feel like yourself again. You know your children better than anyone, so talk to them in a way that\u2019s appropriate for their ages.\nSet expectations for after the surgery\nSince you won\u2019t be able to drive or lift anything heavy after the surgery, you will need a caregiver for yourself and your kids. Prepare your children for what to expect after the transplant. Some things you\u2019ll want to share with them include:\n\u2022 If they\u2019ll have a new caregiver\n\u2022 Their new schedule\n\u2022 How long you will be in the hospital\n\u2022 How much they will see you in the hospital\n\u2022 What they may need to do to help (depending on age). This can include cooking, housekeeping, or other chores\n\u2022 What your recovery will be like once you\u2019re home\nBe sure to take care of yourself\nTake it easy so you can recover to the best of your ability and get back to running around with your kids as soon as possible. That means letting people help you throughout this process. Friends and family are usually more than willing to help.\nKids can be surprisingly perceptive. They might notice you\u2019re not feeling well or if you\u2019re overdoing it. Staying positive and recognizing your limitations can help them stay optimistic during your recovery.\nPreparing for a living donor transplant\nIf you are receiving a living donor transplant, there are special considerations when preparing your child.\nIf the donor is someone they know \u2014 and especially if it is their other parent \u2014 they\u2019ll probably be even more uncertain. You and your donor together should explain to the children what will happen. Knowing that your living donor is doing something to make you feel better will help them cope.\nIf the donor is someone they don\u2019t know, introduce them and explain the process. If you don\u2019t know the donor, explain that someone you don\u2019t know is willing to go through surgery just so that you can get better.\nTalking to your children about complicated medical procedures can be difficult. By sharing what they need to know in a way they can understand, you\u2019ll be helping them get through the process.\nIf you have questions or concerns about any part of your transplant journey, reach out to your transplant coordinator.