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Life is a gift

By Kate

My name is Kate and I am a transplant recipient. Four years ago I received a double lung transplant which changed my life forever. That’s why I want to tell you a little bit about my story and how it affected my life and the people around me.

Twenty-nine years ago I was born with a genetically inherited disease—cystic fibrosis. Having cystic fibrosis caused my lungs to deteriorate from an early age.

My health deteriorated to the point where my doctor told me I had less than two years to live and would require a double lung transplant to survive.  A year later I was placed on the organ donor waiting list. Not knowing whether I would survive long enough to receive a double set of lungs was the scariest time of my life. Throughout that year my health continued to get worse, where I was spending more time in hospital than out. When I was not in hospital I was house bound and spent most of my day connected to oxygen. This I found extremely difficult as I have always attempted to maintain a relatively normal and active life.  

My twin sister returned home from overseas to help care for me as I reached a stage where I needed someone with me 24 hours a day. Most people don’t know that on the night I received the call that they had a donor match was the 19th anniversary of my father’s death. I believe he was letting me know that he was up there looking for a pristine set of lungs just for me.  

I woke up from the surgery and felt like I had been hit by a bus. It was all made better when I saw my family around me. It was the first day of the rest of my life. I will forever thank my donor and their family for giving myself and my family a life-changing second chance.

I have always believed that organ donation is all about turning something tragic into something positive.

I am so passionate about organ donation because I am living proof that miracles can happen.