Friday, July 29, 2011

British woman has new lease on life after lung transplant

IT IS hard to believe vivacious Clare Hemmington was sometimes too weak to leave her bedroom three years ago. 
A rare chronic lung condition left her needing a wheelchair and stair lift to get around the house – and her parents having to help her look after her baby daughter while her husband was at work. 
Clare, who lives in Hutton, Brentwood, was a victim of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) - a rare disorder that affects women only, and destroys lung tissue, gradually causing lung function to deteriorate. 
The only real cure was a lung transplant – and Clare, who has first been diagnosed in 2005, finally had the life changing operation in February 2009, after 10 false calls. And what a difference that has made. 
“You wouldn’t recognize me now,” she said. “I live a normal life, visiting friends, walking round shops, going on holiday and looking after my husband and daughter.” 
Clare’s experience had made her determined to help other sufferers and a wholehearted supporter of LAM Action which funds research into the disease. 
“We have lots of fundraising events. The latest is the coast to coast walk from the Irish to the North Sea. We hope many people will support that venture,” she said. 
“Paul Roylance from Hockley is taking part so it has an Essex interest.” 
Clare first noticed symptoms of the condition –breathlessness- when she was 37. 
She became pregnant and put off having tests until after Lucy was born, but she continued to get worse until she was put on oxygen 24 hours a day, as eating and sleeping or difficult and showering and dressing took ages. 
Eventually the transplant became essential. 
The fundraising walk starts on August 13 and is expected to take a week. Anyone can support it with a donation by visiting

“You Have the Power to Donate Life – Sign-up today!
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Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You

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