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Thursday, July 5, 2012


I don't know that I've mentioned this before but my daughter Sally is a physiotherapist and the area she specialises in is lungs.
Mainly she works in Intensive Care or Cardio -Thoracic wards in a large hospital.
In her job she sees lots of people in dire straits - the results of traumatic injuries or illnesses and one of the diseases she helps her patients battle on a daily basis is cystic fibrosis.
This heart wrenching illness has given her many very sad times as she has lost patients who have become friends, people she has treated for years, whose family she has come to know well as they support their loved one in their battle with this cruel disease.

Every now and then however there is an uplifting story that shines through.

One of her patients, whom she has seen almost fortnightly for the past six years or so, is a young man of 26 called Nathan.
By the end of last year Nathan was in dire straits and his only hope was a full lung transplant. Sally worked very hard with him to make sure he prepared himself and was in the best physical condition he could be as he waited for this potentially life saving operation.

Well, early in the year Nathan got his chance.

Out of one family's tragedy this young man has been given another chance at life - not only of survival but a hugely improved quality of life because of a double lung transplant.

The operation was HUGE.

It lasted 13 and a half hours - six of those hours were spent in removing the old, diseased lungs before the beautiful working lungs were painstakingly transplanted in a large hospital in Brisbane.
Of course one of the first visitors to this brave young man in Intensive Care was his faithful physio who travelled the 50 miles many nights after work to see him and jubilantly wrote on her Face Book page : "Goodbye blue boy, hello PINK boy !"

Of course it has not all been plain sailing from there.
That would be too much of a storybook ending.
There have been many setbacks along the way and Sally has remained close at hand -

encouraging, visiting, supporting her friend through his rehabilitation.

He's no longer her patient now, just a friend who needs support from someone who understands the journey.

Last weekend was a big one on the Gold Coast. It was the weekend of the Gold Coast Marathon on Sunday.
On Saturday, as a preliminary event, Sally and Nathan took part in a five kilometre run/walk - well they walked it of course.

So the boy who could hardly walk as far as the bathroom last Christmas sailed over the line with his pal by his side after walking five kilometres at a healthy pace and was not even puffing!

How good is THAT ??!!

A message from Sally:

"It wouldn't have been possible a year ago. What a great advertisement for Donate Life. The generosity of a young man who lost his life and his family made this possible. Discuss your wishes about donation with your families. This is the end result and turns a tragedy into a celebration. "


I'll tell you more about the Marathon tomorrow.



  1. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

  2. Heartwarming story - makes a lovely change from the usual doom and gloom. Glad Nathan has Sally as a friend and congratulations to them both completing the walk.

  3. How lovely to see a success story. One if the women in my class has lost two children to this horrid disease. It's heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing.

  4. a lovely story, well done to Sally for being such a good friend and to Nathan, for being brave and determined.
    We are all organ donors in our family and would be honoured to give someone a new chance of life when ours is over.

  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I love, love, love hearing stories like Nathan's, someone who has a second chance at life because someone else understood the importance of donating organs. It is also wonderful to hear about the professional carers and helpers like your daughter Sally who are passionate about their work. This story has made my day.
    Anne xx

  6. YAY, i'm famous!! love the blog Helen, there shall be more marathon's to come in the near future if all goes to plan!! from that one families tragedy, not only my life has changed to continue marathon mayhem it has changed my family and friends lives too, and with the one persons donation can also potentially save up to 7 other disadvantaged lives as well, it's a wonderful thing donation so this is a great way to get the word out.....BECOME A DONOR PEOPLE.....@ donatelife.gov.au

  7. Oh, that is so heart-warming. What a lovely story.

  8. Well there you have it folks, straight from the horse's mouth as it were !

  9. This is such an uplifting story! And what a great way to celebrate being given another chance.

  10. What a beautiful story, and he sure does look like one happy fella.

  11. Glad to meet you last weekend Nathan.

  12. That's such a wonderful story which should give hope to so many. My wife had a childhood friend who had a complete lung/heart transplant. Unfortunately she didn't make it, but I'm sure that in the future such things will be almost 'run of the mill'. Let's hope so!

  13. Lovely, really lovely. In my ignorance, I didn't know that such a complex organ could be transplanted. I am an organ donor.