TIME is running out for Sam Yates.
Cystic Fibrosis has left the 27-year-old in desperate need of a double lung transplant, and she has been told by doctors her lungs are now ‘end-stage’.
Since making a plea through The Gazette in January for more people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, Sam’s condition has deteriorated – and she has now agreed to accept lungs from ‘extended criteria’ donors. This includes heavy smokers, people with viral infections such as hepatitis, and people with brain tumours.
Sam, a former primary schoolteacher, has been on the transplant list for two years and 10 months and is becoming increasingly desperate for the call which could change, and potentially save, her life.
She said: “This is a waiting game I have been playing for so long with no success so far. Any chance of increasing the number of donor lungs available to me is one I’m willing to take.”
Currently, Sam is permanently attached to an oxygen tank, on constant intravenous antibiotics, takes dozens of pills every day and has to take morphine in tablet and liquid forms to help her cope with chronic pain.
A double lung transplant will not ‘cure’ Sam of her Cystic Fibrosis, or even guarantee adding many more years to her life, but it is the one thing that could dramatically increase her quality of life.
She said: “I would still have Cystic Fibrosis and would still have to take various drugs, but the difference in my life would be amazing.”
Sam, who lives in Preston Candover, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis – a genetic disease which causes the body to produce thick secretions that particularly affect the lungs and digestive tract – at a very early age.
However, she was able to live a relatively normal life until four years ago. She married her childhood sweetheart Luke, 26, in 2007 and taught at Kempshott Junior School until suffering a devastating chest infection in 2008.
She said: “To go back to what my life was like before would be amazing. I don’t know how long I have left but you can’t go through life thinking like that. “All I can do is pray that one day I get the call.”