Barrhaven woman awaits transplant after lung failure
People in Barrhaven have raised $25,000 for a woman in their neighbourhood who has to move to Toronto while she awaits a lung transplant.
Hélène Campbell, 20, discovered she had a degenerative lung disease after she collapsed on a hiking trail in July.
"My friend's boyfriend had to carry me for the way back and it was just like, this isn't right," said Campbell. "Someone my age should be able to do this hike."
Campbell was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which she described as "like a hardening of your lungs so that elastic, that ability to breathe in fully, is kind of lost."
Now hooked up to an oxygen tank most of the time, Campbell is moving to Toronto with her mother while her father and three siblings remain in the Ottawa area.
The wait for the lung transplant could take up to two years.
Friends at Cederview Alliance church in Barrhaven and the Dairy Queen where she worked raised the $25,000 to help the family with expenses. A website called "A Lung Story" has also been set up to accept donations.
Her father said Campbell has been steadfast in her optimism.
"She's been lifting our spirits. Her two sisters and brother and her two parents don't really have time to get worried and depressed because Hélène is so positive," said Alan Campbell.
Campbell said the experience has made her understand the value of organ donation.
"Because you're giving people like me a second chance," she said. "Why not if you can? You're blessing someone else with a second shot. And most people who have transplants... they take everything else so seriously afterwards."