Grateful for each breath: Montreal woman thriving after lung transplant
Published Friday, March 24, 2017 9:18PM EDT
Five months after receiving a double-lung transplant, a Montreal woman is grateful for the person who gave her her life back.
"I'm still very emotional about what I've gone through, that I'm still alive, that I'm still here, and enjoying life fully," said Linda Paradis.
She is now working with the Quebec Lung Association to raise awareness about the disease that almost killed her.
Two years ago, Paradis was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Her lungs were filling with scar tissue (fibrosis), and doctors could never determine a cause (idiopathic).
"I had sore lungs. When you breathe, you feel pain, you feel hurt , you feel your lungs, and you say something is wrong with me," said Paradis.
The full diagnosis took a year because the symptoms for many lung diseases are similar.
"With every type of chronic lung disease people are going to have the same symptoms. They are short of breath. They have coughing," said Dr. Julie Morisset.
This type of lung disease usually affects people over 50.
"Right now the hypothesis that we have is that it's related to aging of the cells in the lungs, and because those cells are aging they can die out," said Dr. Morisset.
"All of those cells create scarring in the lung and the lung gets really stiff."
With no cure, and those afflicted often dying within three to five years, the Quebec Lung Association has made Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis the focus of this year's gala.
The Red Carpet Bubble Gala, taking place next Wednesday at the Jacques Parizeau Building (1000 Jean Paul Riopelle), is an annual affair to raise money and awareness for lung disease.
This year's event will be hosted by Anne-Marie Withenshaw and Daniele Henkel, president of the board of the Jean Drapeau Park Society.
With the goal of raising awareness and hope, Paradis is sharing her story with others so that people know IPF is not an immediate death sentence.
Three weeks ago she played her first game of golf since the lung transplant.
"Getting on the first tee of golf in Florida, where I used to play, getting back there it's like a miracle," said Paradis.