Philippa’s life changed by ground-breaking lung transplant operation

LIFE-CHANGING: Philippa Bradbury, left, and her sister Melissa celebrating the first anniversary of her surgery.

LIFE-CHANGING: Philippa Bradbury, left, and her sister Melissa celebrating the first anniversary of her surgery.

0
Have your say

ONE year on from having a ground-breaking lung transplant, and Philippa Bradbury is finally getting her life back on track.

The 21-year-old Mirfield woman had pioneering surgery Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital as part of a trial that could help save lives.

Now Philippa, who has suffered from cystic fibrosis since she was a baby, is feeling far healthier and said the surgery had given her a new lease of life.

“It has been absolutely brilliant,” she said.

“I’ve done stuff that I couldn’t do before and I’ve done a lot more things like going on holiday.

“I’ve got a full time job and I’ve found love.”

She started having problems with her lungs when she was 12. Over time, her condition worsened, becoming so bad that she had to quit her course at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2009.

“I was tired quite a lot and I missed a lot of work,” she said.

In May 2010 her doctor suggested that she sign up for a lung transplant.

“I had to have it,” she said.

“I was struggling more and more. Eventually I couldn’t have a bath by myself.

“I had no energy whatsoever. I was in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk far and I was on oxygen 24/7.”

Miss Bradbury was on the waiting list for a new lung for five months and was called to Newcastle on four occasions, only to find that doctors would not be able to use the organs they had found.

But finally, on May 5 last year, Philippa had an eight-and-a-half hour operation to give her a new kind of ‘reconditioned’ lung.

Normally, only one in five lungs set aside for transplants can actually be used, but a study run by Newcastle University has found a way to improve them.

The new technique is called ex-vivo lung perfusion, and it effectively cleans lungs that could not have been used before.

Philippa, of Castle Street, was one of the first patients to be given one in a pilot by Newcastle University and Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS Foundation Trust.

In May she held a party at Dewsbury District Golf Club to celebrate the first anniversary of her life-changing surgery.