Meaghan Barnhill: Rallying for new lungs

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In a nutshell:

“You need a double lung transplant to survive.”

This is the stark reality 29-year-old Nova Scotian Meaghan Barnhill is currently facing as she lives with the rare, progressively debilitating disease, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).

This sobering diagnosis in 2017, and the very recent decision by her doctors to recommend lung transplants for her survival has left Meaghan, her family and friends feeling shocked and dismayed. Her quality of life continues to decline.

But this next step of a double lung transplant also gives us hope. Significant hope. But expensive hope.  

Doctors estimate Meaghan will need $45 000 to help make this happen.

Meaghan must travel from her native Nova Scotia to Toronto for her life-saving double lung transplant. She must support herself and a caregiver financially for the duration of her stay there.

Toronto General Hospital is ONE OF ONLY FOUR HOSPITALS IN CANADA able to do this risky, life-altering transplant surgery Meaghan desperately needs.

Transplant journey ahead:

Meaghan must cover costs to move to Toronto while she waits for donor organs (which is an average of up to six months), living in the most expensive city in Canada.  Accommodation and food are just the basics she must pay for.  She will be involved in exercise programs and assessment appointments, requiring special modes of transportation beyond the city's transit system to get there and back.

The hospital requires patients to live within an hour's drive of the transplant centre (this likely means acquiring housing with some of Toronto’s highest rental rates!)

She will also have to support herself and a caregiver as she spends an additional 3 months in Toronto following the surgery for post-operative care.

In addition, Meaghan MUST have a caregiver/support person live with her at all times while awaiting and recovering from the surgery, increasing costs further. This, unfortunately, cannot be her mother (her first choice) as she herself is battling Multiple Myeloma in Nova Scotia!

Some moving and living expenses are partially covered by provincial Health Care systems HOWEVER, MOST ARE NOT. 

This is why we need the generous financial support of others, like you, through this Go Fund Me campaign.

Meaghan, the person!

Meaghan has always been a generous, hard-working, bubbly, tenacious young person who has passionately advocated for various causes such as Cancer Relay For Life, Shave For the Brave, mental health initiatives, health care fundraisers and awareness campaigns, as well as advocating for rights of children and youth.  She is also a lover of cats! (Her beloved  cat below...)

Background: How did things end up here?

Until 4 months prior to her diagnosis, Meaghan was working full-time in Newfoundland, building a career as a Child and Youth Care Worker.

Then Meaghan began feeling out of breath while simply moving around. The symptoms intensified and increased.

"I felt a sense of urgency just trying to walk. My lungs couldn't seem to get enough air like I was suffocating!"

Every day, Meaghan now experiences:

·         Chronic shortness of breath (she has been advised to not climb stairs or stand for prolonged periods of time)

·         Dizzy spells

·         Fainting

·         Severe fatigue

Unable to return to work to make a living, Meaghan was forced to move back home to Nova Scotia, where she has the support of family and friends.

Medical care:

Since her return home, Meaghan has received excellent medical care in Halifax but unfortunately, she has gone through all medical treatment plans available to treat her PAH condition. Meaghan is currently on Caripul, which is a 24/7 IV injected medication and has recently begun the first round of medical assessments in preparation for a double lung transplant.

Without this surgery, Meaghan's heart and other organs will continue to deteriorate.

How you can help:

Meaghan’s friends and family are campaigning to help cover the associated costs for this urgent medical treatment. We need your help!

Please share Meaghan’s journey with others who may be willing to contribute to her cause. We would be deeply grateful for any contribution, no matter how big or small.

Without financial support, Meaghan's condition will continue to deteriorate and her life will be at risk. Everyday tasks are becoming increasingly difficult.

Meaghan has always been an optimist and remains so even as she faces such a daunting, risky treatment plan. Her Christian faith, inner strength, and determination will help her through.

All support, in the form of money, messages of encouragement and/or prayers for Meaghan, is deeply appreciated.


Donations (0)

  • Alexandria Noftall 
    • $10 
    • 5 d
  • Cassandra Furlong 
    • $20 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 26 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 26 d
  • Andrea Noftall Walsh 
    • $90 
    • 27 d

Organizer and beneficiary 

Mary Bur 
Lower Sackville, NS
Meaghan Barnhill 
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