Woman Shares Her Picture Standing For The First Time After A Long-Awaited Victory.
“Two years ago today I stood up for the first time, 10 days after getting new lungs. I was in complete lung failure, nearly complete muscle atrophy, and I have the tendency to swell up really bad.
During surgery they discovered I had roughly a 99% adhesion of my lungs to my chest wall, so basically they were locked in my chest with a tremendous amount of scar tissue. They seriously considered calling it because of the very high risk of prolonging the surgery and doing extreme damage to me by dealing with all that scar tissue, but they pushed ahead and it went fairly well once my native lungs were removed. Afterward no one accounted for how much I swell and put the bandages so tight I couldn’t expand my lungs, which also meant they started holding fluid and I developed a pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism. They took me to the OR again, 2 days after to put me back in ECMO, which was basically a death sentence. As they unwrapped my bandages they saw my stats rise dramatically. Bandages almost killed me. So my bandages were all redone properly and I was left open, for several days, to accommodate the massive swelling. While it’s great this was an option I was still full of blood thinners and bleeding constantly. I received over 460 units of blood, none of the blood in my body was my own, two times over.
It was a battle afterward fighting the infections, blood clots, muscle atrophy. I had suffered a stroke from the bad epidural and lost a lot of vision (which ‘miraculously’ fully recovered) and most of my fine motor skills. They want you to stand up within 24 hours of your transplant, I took 10 days. Most of those ten days was spent in a medically induced coma. I remember my first breath after changing my vent tube to a smaller size and feeling the lower lobes of my lungs fill with air for the first time in nearly 15 years. I did a 5k (walking) about 6 months after this photo was taken.”