Danelle DeCiantis is a thirty-four year old female who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was two years old. Cystic Fibrosis is a disease where the lungs fill up with thick fluid making it extremely hard to breathe, so that one often needs an oxygen tank just to perform everyday tasks. Danelle was put on a waiting list for a new set of lungs when she was thirty-two and had her transplant when she was thirty-three. Now, a year later, Danelle feels healthier than ever and doctors say she can breathe better than she ever has.
Excerpts from Transcript
In this excerpt, Danelle discusses difficult parts of her childhood as a result of suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.
I could never go on sleepovers when I was younger and stuff like that. And I
always had to go in and do my therapy. I
did have kind of a regimen to my day but in the long run it probably helped
cause it saved my life, that regimen.
In this excerpt, Danelle describes how she feels about the donor family's loss.
I know I only had a few months left and it was an awful existence.... I'm saddened because another family is grieving. In fact, when I had my one year anniversary, I was sadder on the day that my donor died than the day that I got my lungs, because he died on June 3rd, I got my lungs June 4th. The anguish I felt for that family was overwhelming.
I've written a couple letters to them just thanking them and stuff like that and what a difference they made in my life.... I know my family has accepted the letters, but they haven't written me--some do, some don't. But I have written a couple letters to let them know how grateful I am. My mother's written a letter, and my sister.
In this excerpt, Danelle talks about the extreme decline in health that she had experienced right before the transplant took place and what it was like for her husband to experience her suffering.
was a real trying time for him because saying I was going to get a
transplant didnít guarantee my life, it didnít guarantee that it would
make it to a transplant. And the last six months before my transplant I was
very very sick. I couldnít
walk. We went to the mall at
Christmastime and I had to be in a wheelchair with oxygen.
In this excerpt, Danelle talks about her false alarm experiences while waiting on the transplant list for a new set of lungs.
next call came on Saint Patrickís Day and that call they said I was the backup
and I knew it before that and they said just to stay at the apartment cause they
would call me if it was a go. And neither of those times that they called me they
were able to use those lungs, so no one got them either time. Then when I got the
actual call it wasnít till
three months later and I was getting really crunch time for me, and thank God it
was for me.
In this excerpt, Danelle explains how she feels her quality of life has improved.
and day, oh night and day. I tell people--'cause I counsel some people that are
waiting for transplants--and they say "Well, whatís it like?Ē and you
canít even put into words. Because people with my disease never know what
like to breathe normal....
This page last updated 11/24/02