IT’S something we take for granted, every second of the day, but for Rebecca Berry, breathing has always been a trial.
That is, until last September, when the former Portland resident underwent life-saving surgery — a double lung transplant.
Ms Berry, 28, has lived with weak lungs her entire life and was diagnosed with bronchiectasis, a condition which leads to the build up of mucus in the lungs, roughly eight years ago.
The condition worsened dramatically last year.
“I’ve always struggled with physical activity, but last year I noticed myself going downhill, rapidly downhill in two weeks, then I ended up on oxygen, I just stayed at home all the time,” Ms Berry said.
After meeting with Alfred Hospital lung specialist Helen Whitford in early July, Ms Berry was told the only chance she had of surviving the bronchiectasis was to have double lung transplant.
She was placed on the transplant donors’ list, with a predicted two-year wait.
Suddenly, one month later, Ms Berry collapsed due to a lack of oxygen, and her condition became critical.
She was transported back to The Alfred, placed in the intensive care unit (ICU), and was immediately placed higher up on the transplant waiting list.
Within five days of being admitted to ICU, she was on life-support.
By day eight, Ms Berry’s parents, Colleen and Ray, siblings Carla and Scott, and boyfriend David Floyd received the good news, that a matching set of lungs had been acquired and surgery would be performed immediately.
Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.