I am 49, I have cystic fibrosis (CF) and I have been in the care of both Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals since the age of 16.

Despite my condition, I always led an active, sociable and sporty lifestyle throughout school, university and in my working life. It was the tragic loss of my younger brother Nic, from complications related to CF aged just 29, that made me realise how fragile life can be. It was devastating because he was more than just a brother, but a best friend.

I knew that going forward I must pay even closer attention to my own condition and that at some stage, I must get on the transplant list before it was too late to help me.

As my lung function deteriorated, I had to stop playing cricket and golf. By the time I was in my mid-forties, I was becoming far more reliant upon oxygen, both for sleeping and for daily activities. I was determined to keep active and was still working full time, but life was becoming increasingly difficult.

I found myself spending more time in Royal Brompton for intensive physiotherapy and intravenous drugs. I then took a turn for the worse and was admitted to Royal Brompton. The situation was so dire that to have a shower would leave me completely exhausted, even with oxygen.

I was there for ten weeks as I awaited my only hope – a lung transplant at Harefield. In May 2017, I received the call.

One year on, I have gone from being completely oxygen-dependent to having lung function better than that of an average person. It feels like a miracle and has allowed me to quite literally have a new life. I can walk for miles, I can run again and I feel like a youngster.

This has only been possible because of the brilliance and care of all the medical staff at both the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals and also that of an unknown donor, a young girl in her 20s. I will be forever grateful to them all.

Read Andrew Watson’s moving story in his own words here.

To find out how you can support our Transplant Appeal and save the lives of more patients like Andrew, click here.