A 25-year-old woman who relied on oxygen 24/7 said she finally feels “free” after receiving a life-saving double-lung transplant. Violet Gomez, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just 11 months, had a daily regimen full of multiple pills and four 30-minute breathing exercise sessions.
“I couldn’t really life that much of a life before,” Gomez, of Palo Alto, Calif., told SWNS. “I would be in hospital every two weeks and then home and then back in hospital because I was getting infections very frequently.”
The genetic disease causes persistent lung infections and limits a patient’s ability to breathe. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it can cause extensive lung damage, and eventually respiratory failure.
Gomez said that despite her health issues, doctors did not consider her a good candidate for a transplant until March. She was finally added to the list, and six days later received a call about a donor match. She underwent surgery at Stanford Medical Center on April 12.
“Going into the surgery and being put under, I kept thinking, ‘Is this going to happen?’” Gomez said. “I remember waking up and being like, ‘Oh my gosh, this really happened.’ It was different. I could definitely feel that breathing was easier and I wasn’t coughing.”
Two days after the transplant, Gomez was able to stand up and walk. Her first steps were captured on a video.
“I can do things I haven’t been able to do in years and it has only been a few weeks, so the lungs aren’t even fully inflated yet,” she said. “It has been really life changing.”
Gomez, whose husband is a record sore vinyl buyer, is an aspiring fashion designer and now plans to go to school.
“Without this transplant I would have kept getting sicker and sicker and if I wasn’t able to have it, within the next couple of years I wouldn’t be alive,” she said. “My life will be a lot better now. I will be able to go and do things with my friends again and keep up with everybody.”