Woman With Hours To Live Saved by Organ Donation

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Kim Hodge was so sure that she would die that she even planned out the details of her funeral. But the 48-year old native of Wales is now alive and recovering in the hospital after a lungs transplant that saved her when she had mere hours left to live.

Hodge was diagnostic with cystic fibrosis when she was two years old. The disease slowly ate away at her lungs over the course of her life.

In January, a serious lung infection sent Hodge to the hospital, where she had to be hooked up to an oxygen machine for 16 hours a day. At that time, doctors told her that she only had 10 months to live, and that something as minor as the common cold could potentially kill her.

By September, Hodge was in such bad shape that she underwent a last-resort treatment option called  ecmo (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation). She soon began to recover, but by October had another setback.

“I was hit even harder and this one I wasn’t going to recover from,” she explains. “I was now seriously very ill with 14% lungs.”

A little more than 10 months after doctors told her she had 10 months to live, Hodge had moved to the top of the transplant list for a new set of lungs. However, she had just hours to live.

After three days at the top of the transplant list, the donor lungs Hodge needed finally became available. “I don’t remember any of this,” she says, as she was in intensive care and barely clinging to life.

Hodge is now recovering well and doesn’t require extra oxygen for the first time in two years. She is grateful for her donor and the donor’s family, and is hoping to raise awareness for organ donation.

“I would be dead today without my donor and their family who kindly agreed to help me live. No words can ever be enough to that family and I think of them every day,” Hodge says. “Please consider organ donation and leave part of your loved ones to live on through people like me. I will never forget my donor or the gift they’ve given me.”