This story is reproduced here to help raise awareness that aspergillosis is a major problem for people living with cystic fibrosis. It originally appeared on the BBC website in June 2011 Sadly Becky died a few months after her transplant from complications. We know that in the months following the transplant she lived life to the full once more and her courage was an inspiration to both doctors and patients suffering from this dreadful illness. In her memory we would salute her unfailing bravery and commitment to helping find effective treatment for chronic aspergillosis sufferers. Becky’s legacy is one of hope for all chronic aspergillosis patients.
Wythenshawe Hospital’s ‘ground breaking’ operation
A Manchester hospital has carried out a double lung transplant on a cystic fibrosis patient whose life was threatened by a fungal infection.
Dubliner Becky Jones, 20, was airlifted to Wythenshawe Hospital in late May for the operation, after spending more than a year on a waiting list.
“I’m a different person, I can breathe, I can do anything I want,” she said.
Professor David Denning said: “If she didn’t have a transplant she wouldn’t be with us in two year’s time.”
The hospital said she was the first patient to have a lung transplant with multi-resistant Aspergillus and multiple fungal balls in her own lungs.
Aspergillosis affects 150,000 people a year.
Professor Denning, who is Director of the National Aspergillosis Centre which is based at the hospital, said surgeons had no option but to attempt the transplant even though it had not been tried on patients with this condition.
“It was either have a go or let her drift downwards,” he said.
Becky said: “I can travel again, I can go shopping again, I can go to college or just go to lunch at the drop of a hat with my friends, which previously I would have to plan weeks in advance.”