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Emily thankful for ‘greatest gift’ of new lungs

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A woman with cystic fibrosis has undergone a life-saving operation to give her a new set of lungs.

Emily Icke, 24, from Aylesbury, is still recovering after a ‘whirlwind of events’ which culminated in her being discharged from hospital on New Year’s Eve.

Emily was diagnosed at 18 months but her condition began to deteriorate in 2007 when she was in and out of hospital with chest infections.

Four years later, she suffered a major chest infection and was admitted to hospital.

It was then she was told by the doctor they were running out of time to save her life.

She said: “That was probably the hardest period of all.

“I was taking things day-by-day and it was all I could think about.”

Her husband, David, 28, who had only just started dating Emily when she got the bad news, said: “I remember the look in Emily’s eyes when she realised what the doctor was saying.

“At the same time, she typed on her phone ‘ask the doctor am I going to die’.

“I was in absolute pieces and completely heartbroken.”

Emily and David married in 2010. In 2012 she was diagnosed with a collapsed left lung and placed on the transplant list.

A year later in December 2013, following a heartbreaking setback when the operation could not take place due to a bruise found on the donor’s lungs, a match was found for Emily and the operation was carried out.

She said: “Having been through the process once, I knew what to expect.

“It was a relief more than anything because the false alarm felt like a rejection.”

She added of her donor: “It is one of the greatest gifts you can give and it is sad to know I will never get the chance to meet my donor and thank them personally.

“Every day I remind myself how lucky I am because I know there are loads of people out there still waiting for vital organs.”

Emily has been chosen to star in a promotional video for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust during its awareness week later this year.

 

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