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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Punctured Lungs

So, after a lifetime of being ill I finally got my lung transplant and could start my second chance at life. No.... first I had to deal with an incompetent "doctor" who nearly killed me.

After being discharged I spent the weekend at
home,trying to get used to my new drug routine. After a transplant you have to go on a number of different drugs to suppress your immune system and keep your body from rejecting the new organ. Gradually these medicines are reduced until you are on a dosage that you will stay on forever. The new organ is seen as a foreign body that your body will attack and kill if it is left to it's own devices. Therefore taking the rejection medication on time every day is very important. It lowers your immune system so you will always be at a greater risk of getting sick than the average person. Something I have to watch but it's no biggie.

So a weekend of freedom before I had to go back into hospital to have my lugs drained again. The fluid was still building up and putting pressure on my lungs. I had them drained again and then a few days later I needed them to be drained yet again. This time, exactly one month to the day of my transplant, I had a different doctor do it. I knew form the moment she walked into the room that she was going to be a problem. She didn't numb my chest at all so I felt absolutely everything! She proceeded to stick the needle into my lung far too deeply puncturing it and causing me a lot of pain. Thinking I was just over reacting she continued to the next lung and punctured that one too!!!! I immediately felt short of breath and had to go on oxygen. Breathing was painful and I knew something very bad at happened.
Left lung had collapsed more than the right due to the puncture.

My pulomonologist was furious and regretfully told me the situation. Both my BRAND NEW lungs had been punctured. I had to have drains inserted into each plueral cavity of my lungs while the holes healed. This, I was told should take a few days. A few days later there was no improvement so bigger drains were inserted. A week later even bigger drains were inserted and so this continued.

The drains were very painful. They are inserted between your ribs and don't go into your lungs but wrap around your chest in the plueral cavity. Every time I took a breath in I could feel them rubbing against my ribs inside of of me. Their purpose was to remove the air leaking out of my lungs to prevent pressure building up which would make my lungs collapse further. By the time I was sent home for the final time I had had 13 different drains.

Trying to keep smiling in ICU.
Then I got an extremely serious infection which put me into ICU for a week. Here I got psychosis again and just had a bad time in general. The infection got so bad that at one stage my organs were threatening to shut down. I was mentally at my weakest point and needed a lot of encouragement from the medical team, my family and friends to get me through.

Attempting to make it darker so I could get some much needed
sleep   >

<  Awful central line in my neck.

This a a brand new type of drain that my surgeon inserted. He was delighted to have me as his guinea pig. The drain whistled whenever I spoke and this was a great joke between all the doctors and surgeons. No shortage of humor in my medical team! Haha.  >

Finally my infection was under control and I was put back into my normal ward. I was there for 2 months while different drains and procedures were done to try and get my punctured lungs to heal. There was talk of major surgery to try and fix the holes but I knew if we had resorted to that surgery I would not have made it in my physically and mentally weakened state. After a LOT of patience my lungs healed and I could at last go home!!!!

My mom with ALL my hospital files.
I'd basically moved in.

Again there is so much more I could tell you but I think you get the jist of my transplant.

Please register as an organ donor HERE and leave me a comment.



  1. Did the hospital have to fit the bill for their Doctors mistake?

    Scary stuff but glad you fight through it, well done Champ ;)

    1. They tried to charge me for it but I sent them a strongly worded e-mail and it seems to have disappeared! The doctor still works there though which I'm not happy about!

  2. Hi Fawn.Its been amazing to read your blog,and your magazine article.What you have been through is horrific,but to see you get through all of it and be back home now is inspiring...The neknomination was pretty awesome too ☺.

    1. Haha thanks, I think the #neknomination represents my current 'normality' well ;)

  3. You are awesome! Smiling away, with all kinds of tubes & things stuck into you in ICU!! Like a boss!! Really interesting blog, just goes to show how far sheer grit & character can take you!

    1. When all you can do is smile, SMILE =) I'd say smile and wave but the waving was difficult at one point ;)

  4. Hi Fawn,

    Wishing you the very best with your new longs darling! You are a warrior. If I was you, I'd create a petition on change.org and have that doctor FIRED! This was your life on the line and now everyone else's for that matter. People like her should be doing some other type of work, not working with humans.

    You are a true inspiration. Keep up the amazing work darling. <3

    1. Thanks so much Lorena! I agree, she really shouldn't be working with humans, or any living thing really! But I'm not going to waste any of my precious time on her. I'm fine now and that's all that matters! The hospital knows the situation and will definitely not let her near any of their transplant patient again!

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