By Lisa Slater
Hi my name is Lisa, I’m 31 years old and this is my story.
Having cystic fibrosis I knew from an early age that one day I would have to have a transplant. When I was 15 my paediatrician had to break the news to me. I needed to have a transplant or I wouldn’t make my 21st birthday.
I spent a lot of time in hospital, 2–3 weeks at a time, but the stubbornness/Taurean in me seemed to kick in. I was determined to make it and wanted to prove the doctors wrong. I struggled to keep active, playing a lot of sport netball, touch football, squash, swimming, nippers and going to the gym.
When I was 15 my paediatrician had to break the news to me. I needed to have a transplant or I wouldn’t make my 21st birthday.
Although I was getting sicker, with more frequent hospital visits, I still managed to fight off being listed for about another year. Finally, at the age of 19, I was ready and needed to be listed.
Nevertheless, I saw my 21st birthday and 2 weeks before my 22nd birthday, we got the call that new lungs were ready for me.
The morning of the 26th April 2005, I woke up for the first time with my new lungs, although still really drowsy/out of it/pain relief kicked in and on the ventilator I felt different. That afternoon, physio had me up marching on the spot which felt incredible.
After 2 days I was out of ICU and onto the ward. I was improving every single day when on my 7th day Dr Glanville walked in and told me I could get out of hospital! I was so excited.
Fast forward to today and I’m 10 ½ years post-transplant. I have enjoyed my life and not leaving anything out. The 10 year milestone was celebrated by skydiving and a BBQ with those closest to me.
I work 4 days a week, I volunteer for Cystic Fibrosis NSW, AHLTA and Diabetes Australia. I have travelled overseas, climbed the Harbour Bridge, completed a 5km run up a mountain and I have my life back. Sure I have a few ‘battle’ scars which I used to hide however now I am proud of them, they tell a story of my life journey and that’s something that needs to be celebrated.
Fast forward to today and I’m 10 ½ years post-transplant. I have enjoyed my life and not leaving anything out.