Double-lung recipient Hélène Campbell returning to Ottawa

Double-lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell is on her way back home to Ottawa from Toronto, where she underwent surgery in April.
Hélène Campbell leads her doctors and her mother, Manon, right, in a dance during her first post-operation news conference in May. (CBC)

Hélène Campbell, the young woman who made headlines with her campaign to promote organ donation before she herself received two new lungs, is on her way back home to Ottawa.

In a Twitter posting, Campbell declares "the rumours are true" and she is homeward bound.

"Hasta la vista, Toronto," she writes, continuing in Spanish: "Te quiero mucho, pero hola Ottawa!" ("I love you a lot, but hello Ottawa!")

Campbell has been living in Toronto recovering from her April 6 operation at Toronto General Hospital. It is normal procedure for a lung transplant recipient to stick around for three months following their surgery to make sure they're healthy and the new lungs aren't being rejected by their body.

Campbell had a few setbacks following her operation. In late April, she had to be hooked back up to a ventilator after she experienced trouble breathing. A few weeks later, she was again readmitted to hospital, this time with shortness of breath, then released five days later. 

A welcome-home event is to be held at the Government Conference Centre, 2 Rideau St., in Ottawa on Tuesday with federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq attending.

The 21-year-old Campbell made international news with her high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the need for organ donations.

Among other things, she appeared on the Ellen show and drew support from pop idol Justin Bieber.

Ontario's Trillium Gift of Life Network has credited Campbell's efforts to a noticeable spike in new registrations for organ donors, up to 3,000 a week from 350 as of late May.

In May, she was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her campaign to raise awareness for organ donation.

Campbell was diagnosed last fall with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable and degenerative lung disease.

With files from The Canadian Press