A woman awaiting new lungs while the UK was in lockdown said she “burst into tears” when a nurse told her a transplant was available.
Pauline Laybourne, 53, from Norwich, was put on to the transplant list days before lockdown. As the country braced for coronavirus, she expected a long wait – but was treated within weeks.
Mrs Laybourne said: “I just burst into tears because obviously you think of the donor, their family, because somebody has lost their life.”
Recalling how she felt after her operation at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, she said: “I woke up and I had a huge gasp because I was only used to a very small amount of air within my lungs. And I could take in a full breath.”
Figures from NHS Blood and Transplant show organ donations dropped nationally by up to 90% as the pandemic hit, but they are beginning to rise again.