Cathy is 44 years old and has cystic fibrosis.
She had a bilateral lung transplant in September 2016 in South Africa. Despite a successful operation, Cathy is facing new complications, which her transplant team don't fully understand.
These stem from a strange network of blood vessels which have formed in her chest, and which CT scans to date, cannot clarify. Interfering with them could have serious and uncertain consequences, and Cathy's doctors have wisely chosen to err on the side of caution, preferring to wait and see if anything improves in the short term. But there is concern that not doing anything means that Cathy could be placing additional strain on her heart, and might also be causing long-term damage to her newly transplanted lungs.
Through a serious of fortunate events, Cathy is now in Chicago for just over a week, where she has been equally fortunate to consult with the Loyola Univerity Medical Center (LUMC) transplant team.
The LUMC team have recommended that the best way forward is for Cathy to have another CT scan at LUMC to try and clearly visualise these abnormal vessels, and then these scans would be shared with the South African medical team. Once Cathy is back home she would have the surgical intervention needed, as decided thereafter.
Unfortunately, a CT scan here would be for Cathy's personal expense, and with an exchange rate of 14 South African Rand to $1, is out of her reach.
We've gone ahead with scheduling the scan for Monday 27 November, as Cathy is scheduled to leave Chicago early next week, in the hope that we'll be able to raise the funds quickly enough. Not much time at all, but we're hoping to raise $2500.
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