Kirstie Tancock has second double lung transplant after donor found
Popular Exeter organ donation campaigner Kirstie Tancock is today undergoing a second double lung transplant.
It comes just days after the 23-year-old, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity since her first transplant operation, asked her many followers to “keep praying” for her after doctors warned she could have just weeks to live.
Kirstie, who now lives in Honiton, said she still felt blessed for her second chance of life despite suffering chronic rejection two years on from her original double lung transplant operation.
But in a post on Facebook on Saturday morning, Kirstie revealed: “I have the delight in telling you all that at 9:15 I’m going down to surgery for my second double lung transplant.
“I’ve kept that secret all night! I’m think about my donor and their family, both lots, the ones who allowed me these amazing 2 years and the ones who are allowing me this next chance.
“Thank you all everyone for your love and support, I love you all. X”
She was quickly inundated with messages from well-wishers, who will be keeping their fingers crossed that the operation at Harefield Hospital, just outside London, is successful.
Kirstie, who has battled cystic fibrosis all her life, was the subject of a BBC documentary which followed her wedding preparations and subsequent lung transplant.
In a recent update on her online blog, Kirstie, who has been an advocate for the charity Live LiFe Then Give Life and in the months before her transplant agreed to be the face of the Express and Echo’s on-going Lifesavers campaign, said she had just weeks left to live unless another suitable match could be found.
She wrote: “Yesterday me, Stu and my mum sat while my doctor told us that there was no way I was going to be put on the transplant list and that they were arranging palliative care. I had only a few weeks left to live. We were devastated, my mum and Stu were in tears and I was just shocked.
“This was based on my reflux test still coming back positive. We rung loved ones in tears and watched as our world fell to pieces.
“Today we had another test, this time the team came and told us that the test had come back ok and although I still had reflux, they were willing to put me back on the list and would be able to do an emergency op afterwards to sort out any reflux but I would have to be peg fed to stop any reflux damaging my new lungs.
“I still only have a few weeks window for transplant as I’m so ill and unfortunately I have extremely high anti bodies of 80 per cent meaning the likelihood in getting a match is very slim and there is no way they can bridge me on ecmo this time.
“So once we miss the boat it is truly missed and there’s no more tricks up our sleeves.
“This means palliative care is still very important but we have a chance, a small window of hope. They repeatedly said if anyone can do it I can!
“Please keep praying for me and hoping that this small window is all we need. We have had some desperate and devastating times in the last 24hrs. I am now using bipap when needed and unable to walk anywhere. Just to visualise how far we are into the rabbit hole already.”
Readers have been sending messages of support via our Facebook site:
Claire Evans "Amazing woman, wish her the best of luck."
Wendy Harding "Best wishes Kirstie xx"
Shane Butt "Hope it goes well kKirstie. I've never needed anything like this but I am on the donor list. This story shows just how important it is xx"
Jo Day "Good luck Kirstie!! We're all behind you"
Jacqui Shepherd-Coles "Hope it goes well. She has been so brave xx"
Natalie Framingham "Good luck to her xx"
Jane Trevett "I hope everything goes well and with no rejection, keep fighting Kirstie!"
Veronica Scanes "Good luck Kirstie xx"
Juned Ahmed "My prayers for brave girl Kirstie"
Tracey Bartlett "Good luck Kirstie xx"