Recipient of a transplant

GINNY'S NEW BEGINNING

In 2015 I was fortunate to receive a double lung transplant, thanks to the generosity and selflessness of my donor and her family; I was 52. I was suffering lung failure and pulmonary hypertension resulting from Cystic Fibrosis and years of chronic chest infections that gradually damaged my lungs. 

In 2013 a nasty bug caused a sudden big drop in my lung function. It took nine months to get me on to the organ transplant waiting list, after which I had five “false alarm” calls. During that time I was exposed to someone who had TB so was taken off the list for three months whilst they checked that I hadn’t been infected.

I was on a night-time ventilator and oxygen, sometimes 24/7 or even just for a short walk. I stopped working and spent hours on daily physiotherapy, nebulisers, inhalers, frequent IV antibiotics, both in hospital and at home. It was always distressing to be told that gene therapy would not be for my generation. However, I was pleased to start the trial and try the therapy even though it was too late to prevent my decline. 

Now that I have received the gift of donated organs my life has changed physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have made new friends and met so many lovely people through the clinic and my husband and I look forward to travelling again. Support from my family and friends has been amazing. Looking after my new lungs the best I can, I now live life to the full - dancing, singing and going to the gym and for long walks.

Over 20 years ago, I sadly lost my only friend with CF. She suffered a sharp decline and passed away whilst awaiting a transplant. So I know only too well how lucky I am and how important it is for everyone to sign the organ donor register and share their decision with their family.