Miracle Romford girl Tor Tremlett looks forward to a New Year of hope
It’s the New Year doctors thought she would never live to see, but a Romford girl has defied the odds and is this weekend celebrating at home after being given a dramatic life-saving double lung transplant operation.
Victoria “Tor” Tremlett was given 18 months to live after doctors said her failing lungs would kill her unless a donor was found.
That was more than four years ago.
During that time the 24-year-old, who has degenerative disease cystic fibrosis, went through eight heartbreaking false alarms.
She began end of life care at St Francis Hospice, Havering-atte-Bower, when her lung function dropped to just 19 per cent.
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But a call at 8am on October 10 changed her life – a donor match had been found.
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She was taken to Harefield Hospital, in south west London, where she underwent a gruelling eight-hour double lung operation.
“We had waited so long for the call and I was certain this would be another false alarm,” Tor told the Recorder. “When the transplant co-ordinator told me I was getting my new lungs it all happened so quickly, I hardly had time to phone my family or to think too much about anything.”
Now the former drama student is home after weeks in hospital, and says this New Year will be very special – but one in which she will “remember the donor family with every breath”.
She said: “We will raise a glass to my amazing donor and their family – without whom I might not even be here. To me they are the most wonderful person to have given me this incredibly selfless gift, and I will be forever grateful.”
Between 30 and 40 per cent of patients on the transplant waiting list die, and brave Tor openly acknowledged the crippling fear that came with living on “borrowed time”.
“So much has happened in these past few months,” she said. “Facing up to my health getting worse, then having my life saved by the immense kindness of a stranger is such a huge journey. I think it will take a while for it to sink in completely.”
Tor’s New Year, once marked by uncertainty and fear, is now full of hope: “I’m looking forward to all the things I will be able to do that were just impossible before – holidays, shopping trips, continuing to study so I can finally graduate, watching my nephews grow up and generally having my future back.
“Just being able to walk around my house without being breathless is a novelty!”
n Follow Tor’s recovery progress on her blog: http://tor-pastthepointofnoreturn.blogspot.com