Magnificent seven – and a gift of life
THEY call themselve the Transplant Girls.
Libby, Ashley, Holly, Sharon, Charlotte, Josie, and George.
Seven brave women who have helped each other through the ordeal of cystic fibrosis.
It’s a nasty, painful condition that more than 10,000 people in the UK have.
The lungs fill with mucus. Breathing is difficult. Everyday tasks become torture.
Sufferers are vulnerable to infection. And eventually the condition causes your body to deteroriate until the only option is a lung transplant.
That’s a major operation – but almost worse is the waiting.
That’s where the Transplant Girls came together.
They formed a group on social media to offer each other reasurance and encouragement.
The first of them to have an operation was Charlotte in 2011. The last was Josie in 2016.
During that time they built up a special unbreakable bond.
Strict rules around crossinfections meant coming face to face was out of the question.
But they finally got together earlier this year.
It sounds like a normal girls’ afternoon out – a restaurant and a bottle of wine.
But for these women it was a celebration of determination.
It was also a time to reflect on the other heroes of their story – the donors. Because the magnificent seven are here now thanks to them.
It means Ashley, who was diagnosed when she was two, will see her little boy grow up.
All the women are backing our campaign to encourage people to sign up as donors.
The selflessness of donors has given them a chance of life.
And what more precious gift is there than that?