THE best thing about having a heart and lung transplant is being able to walk, talk and breathe at the same time.
That’s according to courageous Luton teenager Ellis Natale. And she should know – she had the pioneering surgery last August.
“I’m so glad to have my life back,” said the 19-year-old, who was born with cystic fibrosis.
“My chest doesn’t rattle when I breathe and I can walk up and down the stairs.
“I took my three-year-old brother Cael to the park yesterday, which might not seem a big deal to some people. But for me to be able to run around and play with him was absolutely priceless.”
The former Lea Manor schoolgirl is now determined to do all she can to help fellow CF sufferers and to raise awareness about organ donation.
“It only takes two minutes to register and just one donor can save up to eight lives,” she explained.
“Before the operation my health was practically non-existent. I was in hospital constantly, My heart was racing, I was breathless and shaky and I had to wear a mask to help me breathe.
“My oxygen levels were so low I was almost taken off the transplant list.
“But now I have so much energy I feel I should do something useful to help others with the disease.”
Ellis, who lives in Marsh Farm with her mother Jo, is joining two friends taking part in Great Strides, a 10km sponsored walk in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
> To sponsor the trio go to http://www.justgiving.com/Danielle-Canavan0