Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Marya Pitcher 1954 - 2006

I'm forwarding the announcement below from Marya's husband Lew as received. Here is a photo of Marya from the Lung Christmas Party, 2003.

I got to know Marya quite well, having first met her in Toronto General Hospital when she was on the waiting list for a lung transplant. At the time I believe she told me she was the oldest living Cystic Fibrosis patient to receive a lung transplant (at age 49). Many will also remember seeing Marya and Lew at the Lung Transplant Picnics.

Please join me in extending our deepest sympathy and condolences to Lew and family. Merv.
click here to send a message to Lew.


"Hello, Merv

I thought that you should know that Marya Pitcher, who received her double lung transplant in May of 2003, passed away on March 25, 2006.

She had been in TGH for about a month, battling a lung infection and kidney failure. The doctors had both under control (the infection was gone, and her kidneys were coming back) and they had hopes of moving her to a rehab hospital soon so that she could regain some of the strength that she had lost while being bed-ridden.

Unfortunately, sometime during the night of March 23, she got a fast moving infection in one of her legs, and by the next day had to be moved to MSICU for treatment. My wife was a fighter; she never gave up. She fought the infection for a day and a half (under massive sedation, on a respirator, and emergency dialysis) before the infection overcame her. She passed away at 6:32 PM on the birthday of our deceased daughter.

I don't know how much of this you would put in the newsletter, but I have to put it all down. Please pass on as much as you feel appropriate to the rest of the newsletter recipients.

My wife never gave up hope, and never gave in to her illnesses. Her strength was my strength. I love her forever; I'll miss her forever.

Lew Pitcher"

Click on comments to leave a tribute.


Merv Sheppard said...

This is a tribute from Brad & Rebecca Skiffington (Brad is a double-lung transplant recipient due to Cystic Fibrosis).

Dear Lew,
My husband and I are so sadden to hear that Marya has passed. Please accept our deepest and heartfelt sympathy.

You may not remember us, but we met you both at St. Michael's Hospital while my husband, Brad, was admitted at the same time as Marya.

It was our first experience in coming to an Adult CF clinic/hospital, since we originate from Newfoundland. In Newfoundland if you had CF and lived to be 25, you were (and sadly are) a true miracle.

I remember the first time we met Marya, and found out that she had CF, we were awe struck. Brad immediately, called his Mother back In Newfoundland. He was so excited, to actually meet someone who had Cystic Fibrosis, was over 35 years of age and at the time, relatively "healthy" (and still smiling). I remember Brad saying to his Mom, "Mom, honest she's definitely over 35, maybe even over 40 and she's got CF. See Mom this hospital is the best. I'm going to be ok."

Marya truly was an inspiration from the first moment we met her. She gave Brad, myself, our families (who never knew her and heard only part of her story) courage, strength and most of all hope! When you are faced with a terminal illness daily those things are immeasurable.

I'm saddened that we never stayed in better touch. Just the odd conversation when you see each other at one of the hospitals or a brief up date from another transplant or CF patient. But I can say, with complete honesty, Marya will never be forgotten.

Thank-you Marya, for all the hope and inspiration you gave, not only to us, but many others - with Cystic Fibrosis and without!

Again, we extend our deepest sympathies, Lew, to you and your family.

Rebecca and Brad Skiffington

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