Kayla Lander hopes to come home in May
Double-lung transplant recipient still recovering in a Toronto hospital
Kayla Lander’s dream of a second chance at life came to fruition on Feb. 20 when she underwent a double-lung transplant. However, the 25-year-old remains in the Toronto General Hospital where she is fighting to get well enough to come home.
Lander grew up in Clarenville. She now lives in St. John’s.
She was born with cystic fibrosis, which causes ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function.
Lander’s mother, Daisy, Bowie said her daughter’s health has been deteriorating over the past year-and-a-half. Her weight dropped to under 90 lbs.
“Kayla was supposed to come up here (Toronto General Hospital) on Feb. 4 for an assessment and to see if she was going to go on the (transplant) list. Kayla didn’t make that assessment. She was flown here by medi-vac on life support on the sixth of February,” Bowie said during a phone interview from her daughter’s hospital room on April 23.
After her admission to hospital, doctors monitored Lander closely.
“She was on life support and they didn’t think she was going to make it,” Bowie said.
Doctors decided on Feb. 17 that Lander was well enough to go on the transplant list.
Within days new lungs became available.
“Even when she got her new lungs she was in pretty bad shape... it was touch and go for two or three weeks” Bowie said.
Lander is a diabetic. She also has kidney problems and undergoes dialysis three times a week.
Bowie is from Brooklyn, Bonavista Bay. She lives in Clarenville.
Lander has a twin sister, Katie. Katie also has cystic fibrosis and diabetes.
During the phone interview with her mother, Lander agreed to answer a few questions.
She’s feeling good, she said, and can breathe a lot easier.
When asked about being so far from home, Lander said she misses her family and friends.
Lander was pursuing a career as a recreation therapist, but had to cut her course short when her health deteriorated.
At the time of the interview, she had one wish.
“I want to go home in May,” she said. However, as of May 7, Lander was still in hospital.
She had to have another surgery on May 4, after her windpipe closed. The procedure was to put a stent in to keep the windpipe open.
Thankfully, Bowie says Kayla is doing okay after the operation.
She adds she would like to thank everyone who has supported her daughter.
There are no words to thank her daughter’s donor, she said.
Bowie is also longing for the day when her daughter will be well enough to come home.
“It’s been a long, hard journey. Hopefully, she will beat this kidney dialysis soon and get those lungs breathing properly and get home and live a normal life,” she said.
Kayla Lander enjoying a recent visit from her friends Amanda Meunier (left) from Nova Scotia and Samantha Bailey from Clarenville.
Kayla Lander (sitting in chair) taken three weeks after her double-lung transplant.
Kayla Lander and her mother Daisy (Barber) Bowie taken on April 29.