In the week when we revealed that 10,000 people have added their signatures to our petition in support of the change, Sally Russell told her story exclusively to RACHEL LOXTON
SALLY Russell will never forget the day her life changed. After a lifetime battling cystic fibrosis Sally received a double lung transplant a year ago.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Glasgow's West End, was diagnosed with the life-threatening illness when she was just six-months-old.
She was in and out of hospital and when her lung capacity dropped to 17% she was forced to carry an oxygen tank around with her and use a wheelchair.
But the former Glasgow University student received the call she was waiting for a year ago, when she was told she was to be given a double lung transplant.
Sally underwent the life-saving procedure at specialist lung centre, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, with no complications.
But in March, Sally was rushed back to the hospital with a rare infection. She now has to take six kinds of antibiotics to fight the infection, but the drugs are now attacking her kidneys.
She said: "It's still a bit touch and go. At the moment I'm stable but I am aware that this could change at any time.
"The infection is serious and the antibiotics are toxic to my kidneys and attack them.
"My doctors are relieved and surprised that I'm holding out."
Sally's old lungs were contaminated with a bug that was resistant to antibiotics.
Now it is in her wound and has turned into a tissue infection.
Despite the setback, Sally, who got married to husband Jay, 26, two years ago, says her life has changed dramatically after the transplant.
She said: "I'm on three intravenous antibiotics and three oral antibiotics so it's quite a regime – but I'm doing better than I was."
Before her transplant Sally had to do two overnight nasal gastric feeds every night to maintain her weight.
She said: "I spent two hours in the morning and in the evening doing physiotherapy.
"I was in hospital a lot of the time for intravenous antibiotics when I was too weak to do it.
"I couldn't walk to the toilet without getting out of breath. I was reliant on my husband."
And she is backing the Evening Times Opt For Life campaign to change the organ donation system to an 'opt-out' one instead of the current 'opt-in'.
She said: "I was always hopeful that I would get my transplant.
"I knew one day I would get my call and that's what kept me going. One person can save so many lives. Someone did that for me."
Her friends are so inspired by Sally that they are running the Great Scottish Run, in Glasgow, on September 2 to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
They have already raised £2500 with raffles, gigs and from the support of local firms.
Sophie Jagger, 26, from the West End, said: "When Sally was down in hospital in March we just felt helpless, like we couldn't do anything for her.
"So we decided the only thing we could do for her was to help raise funds.
"She's so brave and we wanted to give something back to her."
To donate visit uk.virgin moneygiving.com/team/SalsGals