Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heart & Lung transplant recipient pays it forward by raising money for the hospital

Walk a feet after a double transplant

By Tara Dundon Peterboroughtoday.co.uk

A WOMAN given a life-saving heart and double lung transplant now hopes to raise thousands for the doctors and nurses who gave her a "new lease of life".

Lisa Williams (32) was diagnosed with a hole in the heart 12 years ago, and while many people can live a long life with the condition, she found it increasingly difficult to breathe and stay active.

At a check-up in December 2007 she was told that her condition was so bad that a heart and double lung transplant was her only chance of survival.

Mrs Williams, of Larks Rise, Bourne, said: “When I was told my condition had worsened I just had to try to get on with life for the sake of my family.

“I wasn’t given a time limit and I was certain they wouldn’t be able to find me a heart and two lungs in time.

“Before the operation, I had to carry an oxygen cylinder around for most of the day to help me breathe. I often went blue and I was always out of breath.

“I even found it difficult to talk.”

After six months on the waiting list, Lisa got the life-saving call she had been hoping for, and was rushed to Papworth Hospital, near Huntingdon, where she underwent the complex, nine-hour operation.

Now she wants to thank hospital staff by raising money to buy new medical equipment. She intends to complete a six-mile walk on Sunday, September 27 around Grafham Water – something she would never have been able to do if it were not for the transplant.

She added: “A few days after the transplant I was walking about – I felt like I had been given a new lease of life.

“Now I can go for walks and the gym. It is like being a new woman.

“But there are still so many people out there like me who need the help of the wonderful doctors and nurses at Papworth, so I feel it is important I give something back to them.”

Lisa’s sister Kerry Machin will also be taking part in the walk. She added: “It is hard to believe all that has happened in a year. Lisa has turned her life around now and wants to give something back to those that have helped give her the life she has today.”

To sponsor Lisa or make a donation to Papworth Hospital visit http://www.bemycharity.com for more information.

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