Urgent plea from woman in need of lung transplant who fears time may run out
2nd March 2019

A young woman who will die unless she gets a lung transplant has issued a desperate plea as she fears time could run out before a match is found.

Lyndsay Davidson has a rare form of cystic fibrosis which has caused so much damage to her lungs she can’t leave the house without hooking herself up to life-saving oxygen she carries in a backpack.

Life expectancy for the average cystic fibrosis patient is just 31 but many don’t even make it that far, the Daily Record reports.

Lyndsay admits the thought of dying is “always at the back of my mind” and says “I don’t really plan the future because there might not be one for me. I don’t know how much time I will have.”

The 23-year-old is begging politicians to “hurry up” and approve the new law which would move Scotland to a system of presumed consent for organ donations.

After two-and-a-half years on the transplant list Lyndsay has had only one possible match for her tissue and blood type.

This week, MSPs heard the first stage of the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill, which will change the law to presume people have given consent for their organs to be used to save the lives of others unless they have stated otherwise.

But it has a long way to go before it is passed, and families will still have the power to refuse consent.

Lyndsay of Prestwick, Ayrshire, warned potential donors: “Even if you are already registered, you need to deal with the family conversations.”

She added: “People think if you are old you won’t be able to give your lungs, but I have known of cases of lungs from people in their 80s being transplanted into teenagers.”

Lyndsay urged MSPs to back the Bill. She said: “It is the only logical step. Please hurry up.”

She has bravely told her story in the hope of persuading more people to sign up as transplant donors.

Lyndsay is like any other young woman her age who likes to go out with her long-term boyfriend Sean McCracken, 22, and enjoy a social life.

She dreams of a career and a house of her own.

The young woman was within minutes of a transplant last month but unfortunately doctors decided the operation was too risky because of the condition of the donor lungs.

From the day she was born, Lyndsay has had to do physiotherapy twice a day every day to remove phlegm from her lungs and help her breathe.

She struggles to breathe and has to take a number of drugs.

Lyndsay learned how to play the saxophone in a bid to help her breathing but admits: “I can’t manage the fast tunes.”

When she was a child playing hide and seek, her mum would just listen for her laboured breathing to find her.

She could barely do sport and had long periods when she was on oxygen 24 hours a day.

Lyndsay has to go into hospital to get intravenous antibiotics at least every three months.

She did a college course in photography after school but is not well enough to take up a career, so takes pictures when she is able and sells them at craft fairs.

For Lyndsay, her only real hope of living a proper life is a transplant.

On February 8 she got the call she’d been longing for – but things didn’t work out as planned.

Lungs had become available and an ambulance was being sent to “blue light” her to Newcastle, the nearest transplant centre.

She said: “I was about to go to bed when I got the call. My parents were out. They had gone to a concert in Glasgow and were on the train back home when I phoned to tell them.

“They couldn’t speed up the train but I think they sprinted all the way home when they got off. They made it here before the ambulance arrived. By 11.50pm we were on our way.

“Mum came with me in the ambulance and dad followed in the car. He stopped to pick up Sean on the way."

She added: “But we were taken aback when we got there to discover I was the only one there. We understood there would be three or four people who would all be assessed to see who was the best match, who was most in need and who was most likely to survive it. I knew there was a possibility I might not wake up again.

“When I realised I was the only one there, I was kind of numb. But I knew it still might not happen, because they can’t open the donor up until you are in the opposite theatre.

“I had a wash with antibacterial soap and got gowned up. I was pretty much at the end stage when they came in and said they had looked down the lungs. Whatever they saw, they thought it was too risky to proceed.”

Lyndsay and mum Nickie had arrived at the hospital around 3.20am, but just 40 minutes later she knew she’d be heading home again.

She admits she sometimes thinks about what she is missing out on when she sees friends moving on with their lives.

She said: “ I want to be able to move out and not have to live in my parents’ house.”

Lyndsay is planning to write her will and is thinking of donating her body to science.

Only about one per cent of people die in circumstances where organs can be harvested, so it is vital as many as possible are on the list.

Launching the Bill this week, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Too many people are still waiting for the transplant that could save their lives.

“The transplantation of donated organs and tissues is one of the most incredible developments in modern healthcare.

“It reflects the best of humanity –responding to acute need with incredible generosity.

“And it’s a testament to the wonders of the National Health Service, the skills of our nurses and clinicians, and the organised efforts of everyone who works to make these life-changing gifts possible.”

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