Wimborne woman saved by lung transplant makes donor appeal

Kate Hennessy with her mum Gail

Kate Hennessy with her mum Gail

First published in News by

A YOUNG Wimborne woman is asking families to discuss organ donation after it saved her life.

Kate Hennessy, 20, who has cystic fibrosis, became very ill in early 2012, and needed a lung transplant, but the lack of registered donors meant spending months in hospital waiting for one to become available.

However in August 2012, a new lung was found for her, but not before she became extremely close to dying.

There have and still will be occasions, her mum Gail says, when Kate continues to fight in recovery, but they will fundraise regardless, through their annual Hen Fest musical festival, which they hold in their back garden.

Gail said: “We were lucky that Kate was able to come home for Hen Fest last year, on Saturday June 30, but she was then rushed into hospital on the Tuesday.

“We knew that she was dying at Hen Fest really and they did think at the hospital before that, that she wasn’t going to make it, to get a transplant in time.

“So they made so much effort to get her home, to have one last time to see everybody and for it to be a really fun event. It would’ve been a very nice way for her to be remembered.”

Fortunately, despite her health getting worse, Kate had the lung transplant that she needed on August 17, 2012, at Harefield Hospital, in Middlesex.

There were complications following the op, and Kate lost the sight in one eye due to infection, but she returned home on December 21, where she has remained since.

Kate said: “It was a big relief to be home for Christmas, because we had no idea whether I would be home, or even if I would still be around.

“I think it’s just baby steps now, because I have had so many things pull me back before, that I almost don’t trust being home, as I am used to going back into hospital. So I don’t feel that I can relax just yet.

“And to describe breathing – it is like moving superglue with a straw.

“But my motto is live life, give life, which is all about living life and then giving your organs.

“When I was younger, I didn’t believe in transplants, but then I had to go through what my lungs did, of slowly deteriorating and slowly suffocating a bit more day by day.

“So I ask that people just talk with their family about registering to becoming a donor and just ticking that box on the form.”

For information on being an organ donor, go to organdonation.nhs.uk.

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