Thursday, April 15, 2010

Double-lung transplant gives UK woman new hope for the future

Rachel Wakefield received 10-hour double lung transplant

by: Geraint Jones North Wales Chrnoicle
A YOUNG woman is on the road to recovery after undergoing a lifesaving operation.

Rachael Wakefield, who spent much of her childhood on Anglesey, is recovering in intensive care after a ten-hour double lung transplant.

Her mother Lynne said that the 22-year-old was overjoyed to have a chance of a happy future.

“Rachel still can’t believe it and she’s got a smile on her face all the time. Time was running out for her and we didn’t know how much longer she had,” she said.

Rachael was diagnosed with Interstitial lung disease (ILD) at the age of 15 after suffering from pneumonia.

The disease affects the lung tissue, causing fibrosis (permanent scarring) which means that oxygen cannot enter the blood stream effectively.

Symptoms include low oxygen levels, breathlessness, restricted mobility, a dry, harsh cough, chest pain and severe headaches.

Rachel’s relatives on Anglesey held car boot sales across island to help raise funds to send Rachael for a transplant in America.

The fund raised £30,000 and was donated to five charities, including Wales Air Ambulance, after Rachael was put on the NHS transplant list in September.

Rachael’s family on the Island went to support her when she underwent the transplant at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester on March 10.

Her aunt Karen Davies, of Amlwch, added: “Lot’s of people on the island check Rachael’s updates on her Facebook page and I’m always get asked about how she’s doing.”

Doctors expect that Rachael, of Dukinfield, near Manchester, will make full recovery and that she will be out of intensive care within a month.

Mrs Wakefield says that Rachel has high hopes for a future career in medicine once she has recovered from the operation.

“Rachel’s thinking about what she’s going to do, as she has never been able to work before. She wants to do something medical, maybe a psychologist or pharmacist,” she said.

She added: “I would like to thank everyone on Anglesey who donated money and sent cards - we really do appreciate it.”

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