December 28th, 2014, kicked off the longest and scariest year of my life. When I became a new mum through surrogacy after a 7-year fertility journey, I was over the moon. But Cystic fibrosis (CF) made my lungs vulnerable to infections and viruses, so when I caught the flu, it had near deadly consequences.

I spent several months (10 in the end) on Foulis ward being cared for by my terrific team, but it soon became apparent that my lungs were not going to recover and I was referred for transplant. The months dragged on and it was torture being separated from my baby and husband. I was alive but not living.

I was listed for a double lung transplant in September. I soon declined dramatically and my family were summoned from the US. My parents and brother did not know if I was still alive when they stepped off the plane. I was put on ECMO in the hopes it would buy me more time for my call to come. Normally people go to theatre for this, but I was so unwell the team felt I could not be moved and decided to attempt the procedure in my room. What followed was dramatic and traumatic, however the heroic efforts of the team is what really stands out from that day. I was put into an ambulance and blue-lighted to Harefield.

I got my call a week later at the eleventh hour. Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief as Dr André Simon took me in for surgery. Recovery was very difficult, I had to learn to walk again but six weeks later I was home with my boys. Six months later, I once again faced further life-threatening complications and the team at Harefield saved my life for the second time. 

Three and a half years later and I am living my best life. As I do the school run and dance with my boys in the kitchen, I’m always aware of how lucky I am. That my little boy, full of love and curiosity, still has his mother. My wonderful husband has his wife, my parents their daughter and my friends their friend - that is everything to me.

Harefield Hospital’s expertise, dedication, and clinical excellence makes them second to none. I’m beyond grateful to my donor and to the incredible team at Harefield Hospital for making his generous gift a success.

I have fundraised for CF most of my life and now want to bring awareness to organ donation and the vital work happening at Harefield. So when my birthday came around I didn’t think twice about which charity to support and started up my birthday fundraiser on Facebook! I'm looking forward to doing more fundraising in the future.