Calgary resident Jennifer Anderson, a double-lung recipient, is ‘powered by breathing’

 

Jennifer Anderson’s life went through a dramatic change when she was 26-years-old.

She had just finished her masters degree at the University of British Columbia and had just recently married her husband. She was living a healthy, active lifestyle.

However, in 2006 — that same year — she was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms. A year after that, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a terminal lung-related illness.

The illness causes blood vessels in her lungs to grow a thick lining, which means her heart had to work extra hard to push blood through her veins — a risk for heart failure.

“My whole life was turned upside down,” said Anderson.

“Not only was I on oxygen, but I was also on a drug called Flolan. It was infused directly to my heart 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. It was keeping me alive.”

Her only option to survive was to undergo a double lung transplant. As she waited for months as doctors were looking for a set of lungs for her, Anderson was confined to her two-bedroom condo in Calgary. She says walking was extremely difficult.

Now, after her successful surgery, she is urging Albertans to commit to organ donating as it saved her life.

“I am so grateful to be a double-lung transplant recipient,” said Anderson. “It is the greatest gift that I will ever receive.

Are you suffering from a lung illness? Share your stories with us! What would you do if you could breathe better?

Fill out the form below this post or email carol@ab.lung.ca.

The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT is also encouraging people to talk to their doctors about taking a simple breathing test.

For more information, call 1-866-717-2673.

 

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