Today we’re featuring 29 year old Natalie Hinton from Edenvale in our weekly #WaitingWednesday post.
1. When were you diagnosed with organ failure and which organ are you waiting for?
I was born with a chronic disease called Cystic Fibrosis which affects multiple organs, but predominantly the lungs. After years of reoccurring chest infections it leaves the lungs permanently damaged. Also due to all the strong antibiotics I’ve been on over the years my kidney function are taking strain. I am now sitting at about 30% lung function and am waiting for a double lung transplant. At the end of last year they decided a transplant is the only option.
2. How does your current health affect your lifestyle?
I am in and out of hospital every few months for at least 2 weeks at a time. I am unable to keep a permanent job due to the fact that if I get sick I am forced to miss long periods of work. Missing lots of special functions and plans due to being in hospital. Last year I spent my birthday in hospital, I’ve spent New Years, Easter in hospital and have been forced to miss holidays. Last year I had to cancel a trip to Thailand I had been planning since the beginning of the year.
3. How long have you been on the waiting list?
I was listed in December 2019, so I’ve been on the waiting list for 7 months.
4. What are you most excited for after your transplant?
I’m probably most excited to be able to breathe without having to do anymore breathing treatments. I’ve always been very active and I love sports, I can’t wait to really excel at all the sports and physical activities. Maybe even competing in the transplant games. Also looking forward to being able to work full time and becoming independent and moving out of my parents’ home.
5. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
The biggest problem is probably due to a lack of awareness and education about organ transplant.
6. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
The biggest misconception I’ve found is that people think once you get a new organ you won’t have anymore health problems.