Michelle's Story

Michelle suffered for twenty one years with Interstitial Lung Disease and mild Pulmonary Hypertension. In February of this year, Michelle was one of 5 patients whose lives were saved when they all received a transplant at Royal Papworth Hospital in less than 36 hours. The transplant transformed Michelle’s life along with breaking a world record.

Michelle says, “I am so blessed to have had the transplant and now be able to do so many things which I was unable to do for so long. From the bottom of my heart I thank the donor very much, for giving me the chance!“

Michelle now wants to urge everyone to join the Organ Donation Register.

Michelle told us how her life was before the transplant, “I tried to carry on with my life the best I could, but I noticed eventually I was getting more out of breath. I was put on the priority list in 2017 and I had two unsuccessful calls.

One night, mum and I were talking and I was saying that I was getting tired. Then all of a sudden the phone rang. It was Papworth Hospital. They had found a match and I needed to be ready because the ambulance was on their way. I slowly got dressed. My heart was beating, for happiness and slightly scared at the same time. But I knew it was for the best. I don’t think I had a lot of energy left. I was just getting by.”

Thankfully, Michelle has made an amazing recovery and now wants to use her experiences to educate others particularly on the importance of organ donation.

Organ donor rates are at their lowest within the Black and Asian community and Michelle wants to use her story to raise awareness of this problem. Although many Black and Asian patients are able to receive a transplant from a white donor, for many the best match will come from a donor from the same ethnic background. One in five people who died on the Transplant Waiting List last year were from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background which highlights the importance of the work that Michelle is doing. Recently, Michelle talked about her story at the NHS Blood and Transplant Unit in Birmingham and hopes to continue to share her amazing story.

“I am so very grateful to my consultants, surgeons, nurses and all the staff at Royal Papworth Hospital. The Transplant Team have turned my life around! I’m hoping in the future. I’ll be an inspiration to others, by telling my story.”

Join the Organ Donation register today and you could save up to 9 lives.