Transplant Stories

Caleigh Truyens

By 2021-02-03 No Comments

Here is a special story we received for our #WaitingWednesday feature, Caleigh sent us her story after she got the green light be listed for a double lung transplant. Little did she know that a few days after submitting her story,  she would received “the call”. As things turned our we never got the opportunity to feature her pre-transplant story. We are very happy to say she has received her transplant and we will be featuring her story in a special #TransplantThursday feature.

Caleigh Truyens, 30 years old from Centurion is featured in today’s #WaitingWednesday post.

1. When were you diagnosed with organ failure and which organ are you waiting for?
I always knew that eventually I would need a transplant (a bilateral lung transplant) and I’ve been trying my best to avoid this as long as possible but alas, last year August 2019, I went in to hospital, which I do routinely for my condition, and with this admission I was told that my time has come to be listed for transplant.

2. How does your current health affect your lifestyle?
I’m pretty much at home all the time, though I am still working. I’m on permanent oxygen, I even use it at work. My work has been great in regards to my health situation. It’s difficult for me to go out. I have so much to consider when I want to go out to have fun with some friends and unfortunately not everyone understands that. I have to think about how a night out will affect my health and how long will it take to recover and is it worth it?

3. How long have you been on the waiting list?
I have only recently been listed, I had to get a procedure done that will help me gain weight to get me onto the list. I was finally listed this March.

4. Have you had a transplant before?
I have not previously had a transplant.

5. What are you most excited for after your transplant?
I am looking forward to too many things to mention. I’m looking forward to running a 100m without coughing my lungs out. I’m looking forward to the little things like laughing and singing along to a song without running out of breath. But most of all I’m looking forward to breathing for the first time, living my life as normally as possible, not having to worry about what my lungs are going to feel like after a night out and how long it will take to recover.

6. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
I think most people don’t care about organ donation until they or someone they love is affected by it and the sad thing is, by then it’s too late. I feel that South Africa should follow the opt-out system for organ donation.

7. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
– If you’re in an accident and paramedics know that you’re a donor they won’t try to save your life.
– ‘I’m too old to be an organ donor.’
– People that think they cannot be donors because they have a medical condition.