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Ailish – double-lung recipient, NSW

A photo of Ailish
Before transplant, the simplest tasks like walking my dogs, would exhaust me

Ailish fought a battle with Cystic Fibrosis from birth, but it was just as she finished high school that her health began to steadily decline.

“I was losing a lot of weight, I was in and out of hospital, and at the ER regularly. I had no energy and was barely able to hold down a part-time job,” Ailish said.

“I’d spend my uni holidays in hospital trying to get as well as possible for the next semester, until finally my health deteriorated to a point where there were no other options. I desperately needed a double-lung transplant.”

Ailish was on the waitlist for just six weeks when she received her life-saving phone call.

“The transplant has changed by life beyond recognition,” said Ailish. “Before transplant, the simplest tasks, like walking my dogs, would completely exhaust me.

“Now I have so much energy I just want to go and do as much as I can each day, and I absolutely love that!”

Ailish is now able to exercise several times per week, can run for the first time in nine years, has a full-time job and finally feels able to start planning for the future.

“I initially found the idea of a transplant daunting but looking back I can’t believe how far I’ve come and am so thankful for my support system and my donor family for having the conversation about organ and tissue donation and honouring that choice,” she said.

Kathy Heagney
Graphic of native plants

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