Last fall a 20 year old Canadian girl was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This is a lung disease that has no cure and worsens quickly. What she thought was asthma, turned out to be life altering.
Her condition reached at a stage where a radical treatment was done to extend her life. A double lung transplant, a portion of a donars lungs were used as they were too large for this not yet adult girl. A double lung transplant at 20. Within weeks her body started rejection. This vibrant 20 year olds life was on the line yet again. She was back in the hospital with breathing problems.
She is a fighter and cut from different cloth from many youth. She underwent a tracheotomy which she corked for short periods to practice talking. Her lungs were assisted with a ventilator. Anti rejection drugs were used.
She has been on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, throughout this, she remains a role model, with an inspiring sense of humour and positive spin on life.
She became an advocate for organ donation, and awe inspiring one. She appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show before her transplant via a video feed. She is active on Twitter and has her own website and blog to further her campaign. She is incredible.
“I want to meet you in person. I’d love to hang out with you backstage and we’re going to dance together. We are going to dance together, you and me,” DeGeneres said in the interview.
Bursting with joy and gratitude, double-lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell made her first public appearance Thursday and she used the occasion to dance with her doctors.
Now 21 and breathing. Oh not out of trouble by any means. But look at that smile. Smiles are beautiful. She joked that she would probably get heck for that dance by her doctors after the media left… but look at the smiles on the doctors faces too.
Hélène continues to improve and is determined to make more aware of organ transplants, and how they can help. Her drugs have side effects but the doctors monitor them and her breathing has improved and so have her energy levels.
She may be more active than many her age, *grins* she has physiotherapy, on the treadmill, stationary bike and muscle toning exercises with weights three times a week.
“This is for recognition of your tremendous work raising awareness of the importance of organ donations and obviously your personal courage in all of that,” Mr Harper said.
It is a happy story now and I send my best wishes and thoughts to Hélène. She has brought tears to so many Canadians who have followed her story and just as many smiles. I like the smiles better. I hope there are many more.
Why did I choose to blog about this today? no reason, she just inspired me to help spread her wishes and dreams.
It is in you to give. When you pass you don’t need them anymore. Oh you may have religious beliefs that frown on this, or personal feelings.
I would like you to think about that if you do. You can save sooo many lives by donating organs. With medical advances now, there is so much that can be done. skin to restore a teenager who was badly burned… eyes for your friends daughter.. a heart for that nice fellow down the street with three young children, lungs for Hélène…. it goes on and on.
it is a magical gift. The gift of a hero.
It is important if you choose to save lives, and be a hero, to talk to your family. To let them know your wishes. You can do so much!