A YOUNG cystic fibrosis sufferer has sent an emotional message of thanks to the family of the person who saved her life.
Holly Pereira finally had her long-awaited double lung transplant after spending almost two years on the organ donor register. The 21-year-old, who lives near Uckfield, hit the headlines in 2012 after posting a YouTube message telling her story and urging people to sign up to the register.
She is now recovering following her vital operation and is highlighting her story again to support National Transplant Week. Holly had managed to keep relatively healthy while she was growing up but the years eventually took their toll on her body.
Her condition deteriorated in recent years to the point where she had to use a wheelchair. She was forced to spend Christmas in hospital and was struggling until a donor was finally found.
She said: “A few months ago I was dying. I was suffering with end stage lung failure due to having cystic fibrosis. My only hope was to receive a successful double lung transplant. I was waiting for someone to say yes. Yes to organ donation.
“I waited for nearly two years, on constant oxygen, using a wheelchair and on a machine to help me breathe at night. My time was running out.
“One night I got my call - a match had been found and I had my double lung transplant. I'm with my friends and I'm with my family and it is all thanks to a very special person and their family.
“Without them I probably wouldn't be here today. My family and I are eternally grateful for their amazing decision.
“I would ask people to please take the time to become an organ donor and have that important conversation with your loved ones as they have the final say as to what happens to your organs. What if you or a loved one need an organ? You'd do anything to see them better.”
To register to become a donor, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk