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Julie, double-lung recipient - SA

A photo of Julie
I was a registered organ donor before I fell ill ... but never dreamed I would need organ donation myself

Julie thanks God and her donor every day for the breath in her lungs, her ability to sing again and to see her son grow up.

Julie was a busy mum and played an active part in her church when she suddenly developed pneumonia and a persistent cough. But Julie didn’t recover, she was given three to five years to live and found herself getting more and more breathless each day.

Normal daily tasks became almost impossible and she couldn’t walk more than three metres without having to stop to catch her breath. Some days she’d wake up in so much pain in her joints she couldn’t even get out of bed.

Julie waited for her life-saving double-lung transplant for an agonising 15 months.

“I was a registered organ donor before I fell ill as I wanted to be able to help other people with my organs, but never would I dream that I would need organ donation myself,” Julie said.

While Julie said she wasn’t afraid of dying she was afraid of not being there for her husband and son.

“I was afraid I wouldn’t be there to see my son grow up, I wouldn’t be there to see him graduate and get married,” she said.

Julie said she was forever grateful to her donor and their family.

“I am now given a second lease of life,” she said. “I will honour my donor by living well and working hard to improve my physical strength and stamina. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to walk 3km without stopping, and to sing on top of my voice with all the breath I have now!”

Kathy Heagney
Graphic of native plants

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