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Natalie's Medical Fund.

$5,811 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 87 people in 18 months
My name is Natalie, and I am 23 years old living with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis causes various effects on the body, but mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of CF severity differs from person to person, however, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function, will eventually lead to death.

At 23 years old, I am at the point of living with 15% lung function, requiring a lung transplant and needing to relocate to Toronto, ON. The recommended treatment now, is either keep on maintaining symptoms of CF, watching my lung function decline and succumb to the fate of CF, or have a life saving transplant that will give me my life back.  

In order to be put on the transplant list, I first need to relocate to this new city with my family as soon as possible. This means leaving my hometown behind, finding somewhere to live for the time being, while I'm waiting for a transplant. I would also need to travel three times a week into hospital to be monitored closely, be in inpatient rehab to get stronger for transplant and make sure my body is ready to receive new lungs. 

My family and I would be so grateful and appreciative of any donations given because it would help tremendously with the financial burden that comes with this adventure. It will help us not focus on finances so much, and be able to focus on my health and getting my life and our lives back on track. I, would be forever grateful to each and every person who decides to help me along this journey. 

Without this transplant, I am not sure that I am guaranteed another 2 years. This transplant is not a cure but it could give me a life that I have always dreamed of having. Instead of chest physiotherapy, hours of breathing treatments and endless medications, I could look forward to just a little bit of medications, more time with family and loved ones, making a life for myself, and enjoying the life I have been gifted.
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Hello everyone!

I am coming to you all with the update that we have all so patiently and anxiously been waiting for. After two dry run calls for transplant, April 7th, 2019 I received the real call. I am now 9 days post transplant, and will update you all on what has happened thus far.

April 6th started just like any other day; my routine of medications, vests and treatments, though I was trying to get them done quicker because I had family coming to visit from North Bay that day! I was so excited because I finally got to see my grandparents after months, my aunt, my little sister and little brother. Everything was going so nice. About an hour into our visit, I get a phone call with a Toronto area code start ringing on my cellphone. I knew right away. I answered the phone and they asked if they were speaking to Natalie, because they have a match for a pair of lungs that have become available! I remember the feeling like it was just yesterday. I handed the phone to my step dad because I was in so much shock I couldn’t speak, I didn’t even really know what to do. To sum up the rest of that day, I said see you laters to my grandparents and family that had come down to visit, gathered myself and some things and off we went to the hospital.

Upon arriving at the hospital, we went straight for X-rays and bloodwork and all of the admissions process, my boyfriend had driven down from North Bay, my father and sister and brother have been put on stand-by because we weren’t 100% sure by this point if it was a go or not. So, we all patiently waited and tried to get some sleep that night.

April 7th will be the day I will never forget. It was a go. By 1130 I was downstairs heading to the OR. I didn’t have much time to say bye to my mom or step dad or boyfriend, I just remember everything happening so fast. I was upset because I didn’t have time to call my dad or sister but I knew that was being taken care of. I don’t remember much after being wheeled passed those big double doors where I too the very last look at my life as I knew it. Usually lung transplant surgery lasts at least 12 hours, my mom got the call that I was done after roughly 7 hours. Everything went very well and I was okay. My mom updated facebook saying she seen me for a few minutes fresh out of surgery and I looked very good (she’s my mom she’s supposed to say that ), my vent was set at 15 breaths per minute plus I was taking 3 on my own. Everything was still going good.

April 8th, first day awake. Woke up to my dad, brother and little sister . Got my tube taken out within an hour or two of being awake. Stood up and marched on the spot for ten steps, and sat in the chair for a few hours.
Next couple days were the first walks, removal of two chest tubes, removal of the pain med IV drip and onto an oral pain med schedule. Being well maintained so far.
Currently I am graduated to the normal walker that doesn’t give as much support as the one we start out with, which is nice. Has been helping work back the muscle, though I know not to overwork it. I have learned all of my medications and my doses, and have my discharge classes to go to soon, to ask all necessary questions. My incision looks great, staples are pretty badass, not too painful though, the chest tubes hurt more. Walking at least 4 laps a day, sometimes more depending how I’m feeling.

That is about all I can think of for now, my brain is all over the place lately but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask me anything! I want to thank you all so much for your positive vibes and your thoughts and prayers and love and support. Everything you have done for me has helped me get to this point in my life. And to my donor, I am so so so beyond blessed and grateful to you for giving me this chance to live a life that I will live for the both of us! And my thoughts are with your family in this very difficult time <3

Again thank you all and I will post another when there is more to update!
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As this year comes to a close, I can definitely say that at this time last year, I was not expecting this year to unfold the way it has. I never thought in a years time I would be living in Oshawa with my family awaiting a lung transplant. Crazy how quickly things change.

With that being said, I figured I would do a quick little update to keep everyone up to date as to what’s been going on. Before the Christmas holidays I was admitted to the hospital for a week for kind of a “tune up” to get me feeling a little better before Christmas and family visits. We had been experimenting with prednisone decreasing and my body was getting overwhelmed with the changes. So being in the hospital I got to hand over the reins to the nurses and got to catch up on sleep, binge watching Netflix and stuffing my face with everything I possibly could. I had been struggling with my weight as well because of not feeling well from the prednisone and gallstone attacks on top of it all, but I am proud to say I am 3 pounds away from double digits which is very exciting! My lung function is at 14% or so, or 0.47L, the highest it’s been in a little while which is nice. Everything else seems to be okay for the time being.

Still no call for lungs yet, but let’s hope that 2019 is my year and we I can start living life for myself instead of vicariously through instagrams and Facebook travel pages !

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and stay safe for New Year’s Eve and I wish everyone all the best for 2019 and the good memories to come!
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Hello everyone!

I realize that I have not posted in a while and I am sorry for that. A lot has been going on and I have been trying to keep up with everything !

I also noticed that I have not made an update since I got my “dry run” first call for lungs. I received that call thanksgiving weekend. I had some family down for the holiday and the day started with us getting ready to go shopping with my aunt. She loves to shop. Then, I get a call from a Toronto number, picking it up thinking it was just another telemarketer, and the words I heard next almost made my heart stop for a second. The lady on the other end of that phone call said : “Hello, may I speak with Natalie Daoust please?” I told her it was me speaking and she said, “Hi Natalie, we have a set of lungs for you...” and I can not remember the rest of her sentence, everything just went blank. The moment I had been waiting for was here, and I didn’t know what to do. My body started shaking as I ran upstairs to give the phone to my mom to talk for me, as I took everything in. Not long after that we were getting ready and we were off to the hospital.

After 25 hours of waiting, we were told that it was a “dry run”, that something somewhere along the line had happened with the lungs and they were no longer viable for transplant. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement, but I also feel selfish saying that because sure I didn’t get the lungs, but someone still passed away from that. So my thoughts are still with the family from that weekend.

Fast forward from then until now, I have still been doing physio in Oshawa twice a week and physio in Toronto once a week. I have been struggling with my weight trying to deal with gallstone attacks as well, I had dropped to my all time low of 92lbs. That was mentally and physically hard for me to deal with. But with a lot of hard work I am back up to 96lbs and am continuing to work hard.

I have also been dealing with a lot of chest tightness and shortness of breath, so they started me on steroids to see if that would help, which it has been so I am grateful for that little boost of energy. I am still sitting at 13%, still on IV antibiotics since July 5th.

It has been rough, not going to lie. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I would not be able to do it without the support of my family and loved ones and all my friends and supporters. Especially with the holidays coming around, all the love is appreciated ! So, if you have made it to the end of my long update, thank you. Please read, share, show your friends, donate if you can, if you can’t, just pass it along!

I wish everyone happy holidays with your family and warm wishes to everyone, stay safe and I will update after my next transplant clinic.

Much love xo,
Nat.
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Hello!

I realize that it has been a little bit since my last update, my apologies! On October 10th I will be 3 months listed! Feels like a long time but not a long time all at the same time.

Since my last update, I have started doing physiotherapy in Oshawa, which has been great. The therapists are very nice and I met some nice people. Everyone is about 50+ years older than me, but that's cool I guess. With that being said, I have been trying to deal with a lot of feelings that are somewhat new. I am angry that my 24 year old body wants to give out on me while there are 60+ year old's in the rehab centre that are outdoing me. I have been dealing with a lot of frustration towards other things as well that I will have to work on.

I am still on antibiotics, going on month 3 for one of them. Since my last doctors appointment we have decided to add another IV antibiotic and I will explain why. I am still struggling with my weight as a result of my low lung function, though I have been trying to put it back on. My last clinic appointment revealed that my lung function is now currently at 12%. That's been a hard number to deal with.

So, that is the update that I have for everyone right now. I know some people were wondering what was going on or what I've been up to, I will update as I can.

Thank you everyone for all of your kind words, if you could please keep sharing and donating even though I know a lot of you already have. Please help me keep my journey and story alive <3

Much love,

Natalie D.
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Raised by 87 people in 18 months
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