After being diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension at the end of 2018, a condition which causes shortness of breath, swollen ankles, racing heartbeat, chest pains and feeling faint, Yasmin was placed on the emergency transplant list locally and nationally in the hope of finding a match. Fortunately, earlier this year, Yasmin received a double lung transplant at Royal Papworth Hospital. She shares her story;

"I couldn’t walk to the top of the stairs without needed to stop, feeling out of breath and tired. I had to stop working, going to the gym and socialising with friends and family. I spent months in and out of hospital; I had a small amount of life left.The day of transplant was really bizarre! I was getting ready for bed, when I had a doctor come in to let me know a match was found! I remember nervously giggling; I couldn’t stop smiling.The hardest part for me was going through the theatre doors. It felt rushed and my mum broke down in tears, she still feels bad about that now. Not that she should, I know I’d be the same if it was her.

After my surgery, I felt so weak, and very tired; I was so fed up at this point. I remember thinking to myself I wish I had never had this done! This thought passed and was purely because I was in so much pain."

Today, Yasmin is getting stronger and stronger! Her positive attitude and outlook on life has made a huge impact on many members of staff and her friends and family. And she shares how her transplant has impacted her life:

"My transplant has impacted my life a lot more than I ever expected. I can go out with my friends again. Go to festivals, go to places without feeling short of breath. I can go to the gym and cope going shopping alone, which I was unable to do before. Mentally I’m still struggling a bit but I’m sure this will take some time for everything to settle down.If you are going through similar health difficulties, try to always have hope. My mum and I got fed up with people telling us to be positive. We were always the most positive people, but sometimes positivity doesn’t help and can make things a lot harder as my counsellor helped me to realise."

I would like to say to my donor how truly thankful I am for them giving me the most precious gift I’ve ever received, thank you is not enough but they have helped me tremendously.

On the 9th July, Yasmin was invited to attend the royal opening of the New Royal Papworth Hospital site on the Biomedical Campus in Cambridge. Along with her friend, Eliza, who she met while staying at Royal Papworth, Yasmin met HM The Queen.

"Meeting the queen was such an honour, it was an incredible experience and I feel so lucky, she was the kindest lady. I was very nervous to meet her but I was equally very excited. I would say my fondest memories whilst staying at Royal Papworth Hospital would be being able to walk around the duck pond without stopping for the first time and also finally getting to meet the surgeon who performed my transplant Mr. Pedro Catarino"

From Spring 2020 in England and Autumn 2020 in Scotland, the law will change regarding organ donation. All adults will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they record their decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. For Yasmin and her family, an organ donor was life changing and they couldn’t be more grateful.

Her mother shares;

"I am eternally grateful and always will be for the selfless act of kindness from Yasmin’s donor and the donor’s family for sharing these beautiful lungs, especially, in what I can only imagine was a time of absolute heartbreak. Organ donation literally changed our lives, please talk with your loved ones about your choices."

The gift of life is a miracle, the gift of organ donation is a choice.