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By last Tuesday morning (April 24), lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell had gone 24 hours without the support of a ventilator.
"Helene passed her first night without support from a ventilator – an important milestone moving forward," says Dr. Tom Waddell, Hélène's surgeon and Head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at UHN.
On the second day of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, Hélène Campbell's parents, Alan and Manon Campbell, temporarily quenched the media's thirst for information about their daughter, Hélène, an outspoken organ donation awareness proponent who was diagnosed with advanced Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis last October.
After receiving a double-lung transplant on April 6, she has experienced a "rollercoaster" of events, including acute lung rejection, which happens in 50% of all lung transplant patients, but her physicians and parents agree that she's doing well.
"One of the successes of our lung transplant program is our physiotherapy program that is tailored to each individual to get the rest of the body strong," says Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program and UHN's Surgeon-in-Chief, noting that TGH is internationally recognized for research that showcases the important role of physiotherapy in critical care.
Hélène continues to update her many supporters on her blog, alungstory.ca, and has over 14, 000 Twitter fans following her journey.