Clare’s second chance at life
After several tough years, lung transplant recipient Clare is laughing freely again.
Clare was born with Cystic Fibrosis. Her lungs deteriorated greatly in her early 20s and she was struggling to breathe; had many chest infections; diabetes; and problems with her digestive system. As a result, spent a lot of time in hospital.
Her treatments included intensive physiotherapy; breathing exercises to move mucus; IV and oral antibiotics; pain medications; and insulin.
Unfortunately, her lung function eventually decreased to just 24 per cent.
Making life more complicated, she lived in a two-storey townhouse and because she struggled to walk upstairs, she would get up every day, get everything she needed for the day, go downstairs and stay there until it was time to go upstairs to bed.
She sat on the couch all day, unable to do anything.
Eventually her specialists informed her she would need a lung transplant.
Clare was on the wait list for six months and for a large period, she was a full-time patient of ‘Hospital in the Home’.
Doctors told Clare all they could do was keep her stable until she got “the call”.
She had two ‘false starts’, both where lungs were discovered not to be viable, however with the third and final call, she was in hospital by 7am and in surgery by 2pm.
Clare married her long-time partner Leigh while she was on the waitlist. and spent their first wedding anniversary in The Alfred, having just received her lung transplant.
With a bright future ahead of her, Clare said the simple things in life people often take for granted, bring her some of the most joy.
“One of the first things I remember was laughing without coughing. That was pretty amazing,” she said.
To register as organ donor visit www.donatelife.gov.au/register-donor-today