Canada: P.E.I. woman spending life savings waiting for lung transplant in Toronto - PressFrom - Canada

CanadaP.E.I. woman spending life savings waiting for lung transplant in Toronto

14:55  28 august  2019
14:55  28 august  2019 Source:

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Lung transplantation , or pulmonary transplantation , is a surgical procedure in which a patient's diseased lungs are partially or totally replaced by lungs which come from a donor. Donor lungs can be retrieved from a living donor or a deceased donor. A living donor can only donate one lung lobe.

Woman lives six days without lungs 00:54. Story highlights. An Ontario mom with cystic fibrosis struggled for In mid-March, she landed in St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto . "They thought they'd just do a quick For other patients waiting for a lung donor, this machine is enough to help them survive.

Lorraine MacKenzie would rather be at her home in Beach Point, P.E.I., but is currently living in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, desperately waiting for a lung transplant.

MacKenzie has genetic idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, also known as lung scarring, which runs in her family. Several of her relatives have already died from the disease.

The only solution is to get a lung transplant. The problem for MacKenzie and other Atlantic Canadians is that the surgery isn't done anywhere in the region.

Instead, patients have to relocate to Toronto to get the surgery and since donated lungs can only live outside the body for several hours, transplant candidates have to be near the hospital.

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A woman who underwent surgery to have her lungs removed was kept alive artificially for six days until she regained enough strength to receive donor lungs , doctors at Toronto General Hospital said, calling the life - saving Woman waiting for double lung transplant urges education in presumed consent.

Keyport's Dawn Burke, who has been waiting for a lung transplant for 18 months, stays fit at Monmouth Medical Center. Jerry Carino, @njhoopshaven.

But the cost of moving to Toronto until a match is found — an average wait of six months — and then remaining another three months during the long post-transplant recovery, is only partly covered by the Atlantic provinces.

"There are a lot of people out here who cannot afford to be here. They really, really can't. There are some who have chosen to die because they can't be here," MacKenzie said.

"It's heartbreaking to watch these."

While MacKenzie believes her savings will be enough to support she and her husband in Toronto while she waits for new lungs, she's lobbied the P.E.I. government to increase its funding for patients needing to pay for accommodations.

$4,000 a month in rent

In order to make the move, MacKenzie's husband took an early retirement and the couple has been using their savings to live in Toronto while she waits for surgery.

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A P . E . I . woman who spurred a debate about funding for Islanders who must leave the Maritimes for transplant surgery has had a successful double lung She moved to Toronto in January to await the procedure. The wait included three false alarms during which she travelled to the hospital but was told

Now seven weeks old, Bexx was moved from Halifax to SickKids in Toronto as a two-week-old to wait for a heart transplant . In the back of your mind, you're fighting to not According to the province, she is the first baby waiting for a new heart since Ontario's transplant program came into effect in 2010.

They've been in the city since April and are currently staying at a friend's place for the summer. She said prior to that, they had been paying $4,000 a month for a two-bedroom condo and will be moving into another condo that costs the same amount in September.

"It's an expensive move. There's no two ways about it," she said.

P.E.I. woman spending life savings waiting for lung transplant in Toronto© Ivan Arsovski/CBC Lorraine MacKenzie was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2016. It's a fatal disease that causes scarring in the lungs. MacKenzie's only option is to relocate to Toronto, one of the country's most expensive cities to live in, for a lung replacement surgery.

Most of their expenses have had to be paid out of pocket because the government of P.E.I. only pays $1,000 for living expenses, the lowest in Atlantic Canada.

"We're just slugging here one day at a time, one foot in front of the other and doing what we have to do," MacKenzie said.

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There were 59 lung transplants in New Jersey last year. At the start 2019, there were 64 Garden State residents on the lung transplant waiting list. Wait times depend on biological match factors and the severity of the patient's condition. "Some people wait a year or two, some people wait a month

A Charlottetown woman is in Toronto awaiting a big operation that will give her a chance at a normal life again. Fifty-nine-year-old Sandra Livingstone has After a long process of tests, Livingstone has been assessed and approved for a double lung transplant , and will have to remain in Toronto until

MacKenzie had reached out to the previous Liberal government before it called an election in April. She's hoping that the new Progressive Conservative government will make a change.

"They have to for people out there who don't have any savings ... You can be young and need a transplant. There's people out there who cannot afford to come. So they just have to step this up," MacKenzie said.

Province to increase funding

P.E.I. Minister of Health and Wellness James Aylward said the issue is "a top priority" and that his department is actively working to try and increase funding for living costs.

P.E.I. woman spending life savings waiting for lung transplant in Toronto© Ivan Arsovski/CBC MacKenzie says she and her husband are using up their savings to keep up with the cost of living in Toronto, but said many others she's spoken to are unable to and some have chosen to die instead.

"This just recently came to my attention and I've already asked the staff to do a full jurisdictional scan," he said. "I, as minister, want to know what all of the provinces across Canada and the territories are providing for their citizens as well."

Aylward did not specify how much he would increase funding by, but said he plans to make an announcement in September, which the province will be designating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis month.

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