An organ transplant has drastically improved the life of Rima Manomaitis, but while she’s in better health today than she has been for years, the operation was not the cure she and her family were hoping for
Rima Manomaitis, 29, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just four months old and her parents noticed she was struggling to gain weight. Her life drastically improved after receiving a lung transplant two years ago but that doesn’t mean she has her health back. Rima continues to live with cystic fibrosis, gastrointestinal reflux disease, pancreatic insufficiency, chronic sinusitis and cystic fibrosis-related arthritis.
I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was four months old – doctors did a sweat chloride test to determine whether I had it, and I think hearing the news was a shock to my parents. I was too young to realise what it was or what was going on, and my parents were in charge of all my cystic fibrosis needs – I actually grew up thinking it was completely normal. I had to do nebuliser treatments twice a day, get manual physical therapy, which is when someone uses their hands and hits you on the upper and lower back, sides, and upper and lower chest to break up the sticky mucus that’s in the lungs all the time, making it easier to cough up.
In the years leading up to my lung transplant all of my breathing treatments were increased and I was doing four nebulised treatments in the morning and evening and several more throughout the day, to help open up my airways. I was also on IV antibiotics for 10 months to keep me stable enough until I received the call to say they’d found a donor.
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