Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tragic End For Transplant Campaigner Jessica

I was very sorry to hear that Jessica died before receiving her transplant. Last October I did a post about Jess and the stars who turned out to perform for a fundraising benefit. At the time her lung capacity was only 11 percent but she continued to have hope and remain positive. My condolences go to Jessica and her friends and family.

Transplant campaigner Jessica Wales. Picture: Live Life Then Give Live

Mark Langford, Sky News Online

A woman whose campaign for awareness during a four-year wait for a double lung transplant won the support of celebrities has died.

Cystic fibrosis sufferer Jessica Wales died in hospital, aged 20, just weeks after a suitable donor was found.

Jessica, of Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, initially impressed doctors with her progress but her condition steadily deteriorated and she was eventually sedated and placed on a ventilator.

The battle to find a donor drew support from celebrities, including singer Natalie Imbruglia and comic Ed Byrne who performed at a gig last October called Save Jess-tival

Other stars who backed the campaign on Twitter included Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown, singer Beverley Knight, Jonathan Ross and Rubens Barrichello.
Ms Wales defied doctors' expectations after being given just two years to live in 2005 when she was listed for a donor. She used a non-invasive ventilator at night to keep her lungs going.

Friends said that despite her suffering she worked tirelessly to raise awareness about organ donation and transplantation.

The Live Life Then Give Life transplant charity said: "During this period, she showed great courage and determination, inspiring people across the country through her relentless campaigning and upbeat attitude.

"Jess was not only a valued Live Life Then Give Life advocate, but also a great friend to many and we offer her family our sincere condolences at this sad time.

"We will continue to campaign for all those who wait for an organ transplant and, whilst not every outcome will be what we would wish, we hope that one day all those who need a transplant will get it when they are fittest and it is most likely to have a good long-term outcome."

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