Lung Operation-World First
A young woman is able to breathe freely again after a world-first operation to cure her lung condition.
Becky Jones, 20, is the first person to have a lung transplant while suffering from two fungal conditions that left her housebound.
Now out of intensive care following surgery, Becky said: 'I can't, for the life of me, remember feeling so well. The world is officially my oyster!'
Becky Jones, 20, was suffering from multi-resistant Aspergillus, a common airborne fungus, and multiple fungal balls in her old lungs:
She was airlifted from her home in Dublin, Ireland, for the ground-breaking treatment by world leading experts at University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) in Wythenshawe.
Ms Jones made history twice by being the first patient to have a lung transplant while suffering from multi-resistant Aspergillus, a common airborne fungus, and multiple fungal balls in her old lungs.
Lung transplant patients have never before been able to have the operation while suffering from either of these conditions.
Aspergillus is a large number of diseases involving both infection and growth of fungus as well as allergic responses. It is estimated to affect around 150,000 people in the UK.
The condition had left Ms Jones virtually house bound, unable to walk properly, climb stairs or go out with friends.
She had been on the waiting list for over a year and was accepted for transplant only because the hospital at Wythenshawe also houses the National Aspergillosis Centre, which specialises in treating the condition.
She underwent the historic operation on May 29 and just 18 days later is out of intensive care, tucking into her food and making plans for a future.
'Words simply cannot begin to describe the pure relief I feel,' Ms Jones said.
'The chains have been lifted; I can breathe! I can't, for the life of me, remember feeling so well!
'I now plan to travel and study fashion design at college.'
Ms Jones first developed aspergillosis after she became allergic to the fungus aspergillus:
Professor David Denning, who is Director of the National Aspergillosis Centre, said: 'Becky's transplant brings together a remarkable set of expertises; in fungal infection, molecular testing, advanced transplantation techniques and intensive care, all under one roof.
'With increasing antifungal resistance since 2004, she is a courageous torchbearer for others.'
Ms Jones first developed aspergillosis because she has cystic fibrosis and became allergic to the Aspergillus.
Because she needed special drugs to improve her breathing, the fungus grew in her damaged airways to form large fungal balls, known as aspergillomas.
She was treated with an antifungal drug but the fungus developed resistance.
She is now on preventative antifungal agents given by aerosol and intravenously, to minimise the risk of life-threatening invasive aspergillosis, which is common after lung transplantation because of immune suppression to prevent rejection.
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