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Woman with cystic fibrosis feels 'free' following double-lung transplant

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Violet Gomez received a call six days after she was placed on the transplant waiting list, and said she finally feels "free" thanks to her new lungs.

Violet Gomez received a call six days after she was placed on the transplant waiting list, and said she finally feels "free" thanks to her new lungs.  (SWNS)

A 25-year-old woman who relied on oxygen 24/7 said she finally feels “free” after receiving a life-saving double-lung transplant. Violet Gomez, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just 11 months, had a daily regimen full of multiple pills and four 30-minute breathing exercise sessions.

“I couldn’t really life that much of a life before,” Gomez, of Palo Alto, Calif., told SWNS. “I would be in hospital every two weeks and then home and then back in hospital because I was getting infections very frequently.”

The genetic disease causes persistent lung infections and limits a patient’s ability to breathe. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it can cause extensive lung damage, and eventually respiratory failure.

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Violet Gomez with her oxygen tank pre transplant. See SWNS story NYLUNGS A young cystic fibrosis sufferer took her first steps days after receiving a life-saving double lung transplant. Violet Gomez, 25, said she feels "free" following the surgery, which means she can breathe deeply for the first time in her life. The young woman previously relied on oxygen 24/7 after a build of mucus in her organs reduced her lung capacity to 20 per cent. While her friends graduated college and enjoyed life, Violet was so unwell she was unable to walk the length of her apartment without taking a break. Earlier this year, a series of infections left Violet virtually hospital-bound and hooked up to an oxygen tank to help her breathe. She was added to the transplant list in April and expected to be waiting three to six months for a new pair of lungs, in line with average US wait times. But just six days later she received the all-important call and was rushed to hospital where she underwent the critical surgery in the early hours of April 12. Footage filmed at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, shows Violet taking her first steps fueled by healthy lungs full of oxygen, just two days after the op. The aspiring fashion designer, who was unable to work before the transplant but now plans to go to school, said: "It is freeing. I feel free.

She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just 11 months old, and before the surgery she was forced to rely on an oxygen tank 24/7.  ( © SWNS.com)

Gomez said that despite her health issues, doctors did not consider her a good candidate for a transplant until March. She was finally added to the list, and six days later received a call about a donor match. She underwent surgery at Stanford Medical Center on April 12.

“Going into the surgery and being put under, I kept thinking, ‘Is this going to happen?’” Gomez said. “I remember waking up and being like, ‘Oh my gosh, this really happened.’ It was different. I could definitely feel that breathing was easier and I wasn’t coughing.”

Two days after the transplant, Gomez was able to stand up and walk. Her first steps were captured on a video.

“I can do things I haven’t been able to do in years and it has only been a few weeks, so the lungs aren’t even fully inflated yet,” she said. “It has been really life changing.”

Gomez, whose husband is a record sore vinyl buyer, is an aspiring fashion designer and now plans to go to school.

Violet Gomez and husband Erik with their cats Sushi and Taki. See SWNS story NYLUNGS A young cystic fibrosis sufferer took her first steps days after receiving a life-saving double lung transplant. Violet Gomez, 25, said she feels "free" following the surgery, which means she can breathe deeply for the first time in her life. The young woman previously relied on oxygen 24/7 after a build of mucus in her organs reduced her lung capacity to 20 per cent. While her friends graduated college and enjoyed life, Violet was so unwell she was unable to walk the length of her apartment without taking a break. Earlier this year, a series of infections left Violet virtually hospital-bound and hooked up to an oxygen tank to help her breathe. She was added to the transplant list in April and expected to be waiting three to six months for a new pair of lungs, in line with average US wait times. But just six days later she received the all-important call and was rushed to hospital where she underwent the critical surgery in the early hours of April 12. Footage filmed at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, shows Violet taking her first steps fueled by healthy lungs full of oxygen, just two days after the op. The aspiring fashion designer, who was unable to work before the transplant but now plans to go to school, said: "It is freeing. I feel free.

The aspiring fashion designer, pictured with her husband, said she'll now be able to go to school.  (SWNS)

“Without this transplant I would have kept getting sicker and sicker and if I wasn’t able to have it, within the next couple of years I wouldn’t be alive,” she said. “My life will be a lot better now. I will be able to go and do things with my friends again and keep up with everybody.”

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