I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when I was four years old. It was always sort of a struggle for me growing up, I missed school because I had to be in the hospital for two weeks at a time to receive IV antibiotics to help keep infections out of my lungs. Once I got older, junior high and high school, I was very active in sports and I think that’s what helped keep my lungs so healthy! I was doing great. I went to college full time my senior year and also a year after graduation.
In 2009 I kept getting sick, a lot, so my doctor did a lung biopsy which revealed I was growing a bacteria that was incurable by medicine. The only way to rid it from my body was to have a double lung transplant. I was 19 at the time and my whole world had been flipped upside down. I was terrified and I had so many questions. How long did I have? Would I survive the surgery?
After a long evaluation process I was finally listed at the Cleveland Clinic in January 2011. I waited over four years for my transplant, as I have a rare blood type and I’m very petite. Two very important things when it comes to the matching process.
During those four years I went from being completely dependent, to completely independent. But, I also found the love of my life. Long story short, we had a “thing” for about a year. I never told him I loved him. He was a drummer and was constantly traveling with his music and I knew he’d never want to settle his free spirit. He moved to the Virgin Islands in August of 2013. We said our goodbyes and never expected to talk to him again. He called me two months later. We began talking everyday.. and then he said it: “I love you, I’m coming back to you!” A part of me never thought it would be true. He was living in paradise and I was dying.
But he came back. 8 months later I was in my parents living room and I get a text that reads “why is there a strange man standing outside your house?” I go to the door and there he is. Flew over 2000 miles and was holding roses. We were official THAT night.
In the days to come he was a blessing. God has perfect timing and my husband is the perfect example for that. About a month after he came back I needed oxygen 24/7 and more help than ever. My entire body hurt from lack of oxygen. I had trouble showering, getting dressed, etc. but he never gave up. We always wanted to go to a music festival together, but there was no way I could have made that trip. I could barely walk to the car. So, my husband put on a 3 day music and arts festival all for ME in our hometown. Bands came from all over. People camped out, and the best part is.. my husband got on stage in front of hundreds of people we didn’t know, our families and friends, and he played a song he wrote for me and he proposed. I didn’t even want to think about planning a wedding until we could both enjoy the happiest day of our lives.
11 days after his proposal I got the call for new lungs. After four long years, it happened. Because of God, my donor, the transplant team, my parents, my husband, and our friends and family.. I survived.
To catch more of our story.
Our local news did some interviews. It tells our whole story.