Helen, her family and friends are taking on extraordinary fundraising events to thank our hospitals for her partner’s extraordinary care.

Helen Morgan and her partner Louis Knibbs, love nothing more than getting muddy on the track while competing in motocross. Louis has been especially pleased to return, on occasion, to the activity he loves following a long journey through Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals where he is still monitored and cared for following lung transplantation.

Louis had always been a fit, active person. Royal Brompton had already been successfully managing a mass on Louis’s lung with medication, allowing him to live a normal and active life for almost ten years. Unfortunately, a bout of pneumonia worsened his condition.

In 2019 Louis was placed on the transplant list. To have the best chance of recovery, Louis started building up his strength and working on his fitness with support from a personal trainer. Louis went through eight false alarms for potential lungs, a Covid-19 infection and three years on the transplant list before a suitable pair of lungs was found for him. Louis received his new lungs in early 2022. Helen said:

The operation went well, I was called by the surgeon to say Louis was waking up in record time. He was able to sit up only a couple of days after surgery, which was a significant milestone. It was only at the third day following surgery that things started rapidly going downhill.

Louis developed an infection that his body needed help in fighting. He spent two weeks in a coma supported by ECMO, (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) which oxygenated his blood while his lungs were being treated.

After waking up, Louis started to recover slowly. Soon, with the help of the nurses and physiotherapists at Harefield Hospital, he started to sit up, move around the hospital and was fit enough for discharge in April 2022.

Recovery from transplantation is often not straightforward and Louis has since returned to Harefield Hospital’s ITU. Helen told us: “It’s been over a year now since my partner Louis had his transplant, he was able to get out on his bike again, one week ahead of the ITU nurses predicted date. He is always one to take on a challenge.

However, we nearly lost him just before Christmas through pneumonia. We had to come back to Harefield once again for ECMO support, the second time in one year. We held a charity event at the track for friends and family to come and try motocross and raised more funds to say thanks for the amazing care he received again.

Helen’s sister and niece, Emily and Louise, are taking on the Skydive this summer to thank Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals for everything they’ve done for Louis.

Has this story inspired you do something daring in support the life-saving work of our hospitals? Join Emily and Louise in becoming a daredevil fundraiser in 2023 by registering to skydive.  

Register to Skydive

*Photography curtesy of Andy Tindale