Kayla Lan­der hopes to come home in May

Double-lung trans­plant re­cip­i­ent still recovering in a Toronto hos­pi­tal

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Sports - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

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.

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