One in a million: Kirstie’s goodbye

Kirstie Tancock.

Kirstie Tancock. - Credit: Archant

A double lung transplant recipient from Honiton who inspired thousands by her story has penned an emotional farewell letter on her online blog.

Kirstie Tancock was born with cystic fibrosis, a life-limiting condition that causes mucus to gather in the lungs and digestive system.

In her latest blog post, the 27-year-old explained that doctors had diagnosed her body with chronic rejection of her new lungs, resulting in a health decline which meant that she is too ill to be considered for a third transplant.

She also explained that she had been battling pneumonia and her lungs are ‘severely damaged’.

An excerpt reads: “I am not well enough to be considered for a third transplant. It’s as simple as that and do you know what? I’m OK with that.

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“Of course I would always want more time, but I have discussed this with the professionals and there has to be a point when you trust them to make the best decision for you - and I wholeheartedly do.”

Kirstie came to the nation’s attention after undergoing two exhaustive double-lung transplants - one in 2011 and the other in 2013.

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The fitness instructor also captured the hearts of thousands as she became the focus of a BBC documentary Love on the Transplant List, which documented her journey towards getting her first transplant.

Kirstie underwent her first double lung transplant in 2011, having been on the transplant waiting list for three months.

She was transferred to a Harefield Hospital, in London, and was in a coma for five days when a last-minute match became available.

Despite the operation’s success, Kirstie had to handle a devastating blow when she suffered chronic rejection of the organs two years later.

Furthermore, she was initially told that she would not be re-listed for a transplant as her lungs had built up antibodies which would make another match extremely rare

Undeterred, Kirstie continued to live her life with a determined optimism and with just a week left to live, she had her miracle - another match.

But in a cruel twist of fate three years on, she has experienced chronic rejection again - and a severe deterioration in her health as a result.

In her latest blog post, Kirstie revealed she has just months to live, a fate she has accepted.

She added that she will be spending time at home making memories with her loved ones.

Reflecting on her journey, Kirstie said: “I’m 27 - an age I never thought I would get to see.

“But due to miracles from medical practitioners and my donors I have been kept here to enjoy what have been the best years of my life, experiencing things I could barely have dreamt of.

“I’m so grateful for every extra second I have had with my family, friends and all the amazing people I met and those I got to teach and lives I got to influence, mostly I hope, for the better.

“I always wanted to make a difference with my life, leave a positive impact on the earth.

“I like to think I have done that.”

Kirstie also used her post to launch a final fundraising campaign for Harefield Hospital, the leading heart and lung specialist centre in the UK, where she has undergone both transplants and been treated for rejection.

She wants to raise £10,000 for the hospital - an achievable feat with already more than £7,000 raised from online donations.

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