Written by Lara G
Have faith in God. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. Mark 11:22-24.
I’ve lived by this since March 2017 and have often referred to it as my lifeline because it kept me alive. Having this at the forefront of my mind at all times was essential for keeping my head in the game. I knew that if my mental, emotional, and spiritual health were in order, then I could tackle anything physical. That’s the easy part.
Born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that primarily affects the respiratory and digestive system, each person’s story with this condition is unique. Those with CF lack the salt content to move things effectively through their bodies. One of the results of this is thick, sticky mucous building up in the airways, causing repeat respiratory infections, lung damage, and difficulty breathing. For me, my lung disease was extremely aggressive. Even though I was compliant with my medications, nebulizer and airway clearance treatments, it wasn’t enough to save my tired lungs.
In March 2017 I was the sickest I have ever been in my life. On 55 liters of oxygen, I was transported to Boston where I was emergently listed for a double lung transplant. At the top of the list for the Northeast region, I was there for a month before I miraculously bounced back to only needing a few liters of oxygen. They transported me back home to continue to wait for “the call.”
I was in the hospital just about the whole time, 5 months total with minimal breaks in between, while I waited for new lungs. The six weeks leading up to transplant I was inpatient. The IV antibiotics that had always worked their magic after two weeks, had failed. I was getting sicker. Time was running out.
I received the call on August 17th while at my home hospital in Vermont. The call came at just the right time. I was flooded with overwhelming emotions at the magnitude of the situation. Preparing for what I was about to go through and also feeling the weight of grief for my donor, his or her family and what they were experiencing in those moments. It was a rollercoaster of sadness and relief for what was to come.
August 18th, 2017, I was given the gift of new life because a selfless stranger decided to say yes to organ donation. I am forever grateful to this person for the opportunity to experience life in a new way, more time with loved ones, and to inspire others to do what seems impossible, too. My donor saved my life and I don’t take that lightly. Every breath is a gift.
I am very blessed to be surrounded by the best support team. My family and friends are the most incredible people that rallied around me, prayed for me, and encouraged me through my transplant process. I would not be here without their support, love, and having them fight right alongside me. I am so very grateful to be living the life that I have been so graciously given.
Please follow my journey and connect with me here: www.laragovendo.com or on FB/IG: Lungs4Lovey
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