Mag­nif­i­cent seven – and a gift of life

The People - - NEWS FEATURES -

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?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.