ORILLIA, Ontario -
To say that Deanna Peacock is breathing easier these days would be a massive understatement.
Diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis four years ago, the local woman underwent a double-lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital in late July.
No longer dependant on oxygen tanks for her survival, Peacock, 54, is enjoying a new lease on life.
“I always had faith that it would happen,”
Peacock, a mother of three grown children, said of the surgery. “Ninety-nine per cent of the time I had faith. But you do get down sometimes.”
This critical operation would not, of course, been possible without an available organ.
To that end, Peacock plans to advocate in whatever way she can for organ donation.
“One donor can save eight people’s lives,” she said during an interview at her Orillia home. “Don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here.”
n the two years leading up to her operation, Peacock required oxygen fed from tanks to make up for her ever-diminishing lung capacity.
She was placed on the lung transplant list at Toronto General Hospital in September 2011, the beginning of a months-long journey that would see her anxiously awaiting the call, a beeper and cell phone at her side.
“Waiting is horrible,” she says.
Helping her through the lengthy and challenging process was a faithful group of community supporters, among them Margot Crowder Davidson and Cam Davidson, and the congregation at St. Paul’s United Church.
“They were phenomenal,” she adds.
By July of the following year, her lungs were increasingly failing, functioning at between 12 and 18 per cent capacity.
At one point, Peacock would be rushed by car to Toronto after learning a set of lungs had become available, only to discover soon after that the organ was not viable.
Then, on July 21, she received a second call.
“We have a set of lungs,” Peacock was told.
Again she was driven to hospital and, after a seven-hour wait and a battery of tests the news came that “the lungs were good.”
The surgery was completed early the following morning.
For a recipient of a lung transplant, Peacock’s recovery has been remarkably speedy and complications were minimal.
“I am blessed,” she adds.