Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Organ recipient says thanks

No matter where you live in the world there's always out-of-pocket expenses involved with an organ transplant and it's heartwarming to see how communities come together to help their fellow citizens in their time of need.

From the Summit Sun in Australia:

By Naomi Davidson
After undergoing a double lung transplant earlier this year Lynda Ludlow was overwhelmed by the support of the community who in the latest fundraising efforts presented her with a cheque for $4000 at a morning tea on Saturday June 14.

Ms Ludlow was diagnosed with a rare heart and lung condition known as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) two and a half years ago. On January 8 she underwent a double lung transplant at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.

A dinner was held at the Dundee hall on April 19 to raise money for Ms Ludlow, to help with costs associated with the transplant. Approximately 80 people attended the evening mainly from the communities of Dundee, Glen Elgin, Deepwater and Red Range. People that Ms Ludlow said she had met over the years.

“It was wonderfully done very professional everything was so beautifully decorated I thought I was walking into a wedding,” she said.

The majority of the money, about $3700 was raised from the dinner with the added $300 from a quilt raffle held before the Dundee dog trials.

“As soon as she saw the amount tears came to her eyes, it was real emotional she said she didn’t expect that much,” one of the organisers, Margaret Sloman said.

“I was very emotional the community spirit was just wonderful I just didn’t think something like this could happen to me and the community have been fantastic to get behind me,” Ms Ludlow said.

“Because I haven’t been working it has put a big dint in my pockets. The money has been a God-send. There were a lot of upfront medical expenses as well as day-to-day living. I hope that I can give back somewhere down the track.”

There have been two previous fundraisers for Ms Ludlow. Colin Say and Co, Ms Ludlow’s employers, held a charity bowls day last December. They raised $1800 to assist with Ms Ludlow’s medical expenses and also as a donation to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association of Australia and the Heart Foundation.

Then earlier this year the Drew family in conjunction with the Glen Innes Motor Sport Club raised $1000 from the auction of a seat in a Holden Gemini in the demolition derby at this year’s Glen Innes Show. $650 was raised from the auction of the driver’s seat and a further $350 from an anonymous donor.

Ms Ludlow’s condition affects just six in one million people and has no cure. PAH is where the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above the normal levels. At the same time the walls of the arteries become thicker making it difficult to pump blood. Her condition deteriorated towards the end of last year, needing the transplant.

“I’m really good,” Ms Ludlow said. “I’m getting stronger everyday. It’s been a pretty rocky road. I’ve only been home the past six weeks. I was in hospital all that time previous to that.”

Ms Ludlow wishes to encourage the community to become organ donors as there are almost 2000 people in Australia on organ transplant waiting lists at any given time, with some dying while they are waiting, according to the Medicare Australia website. To register as an organ donor visit Medicare Australia.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network
For other Canadian provinces click here

In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

Your generosity can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance another 50 through cornea and tissue donation

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