New Lungs!

Friday brought great news. Hélène Campbell (whom I wrote about in January) received a double lung transplant. She had been waiting for such a transplant for months and, recently, it had been reported that before the surgery, her lungs were functioning at only 20%. She still has a long way to go, but within a day or two she was responsive and able to communicate (though not speak).

Hélène’s story is more than just the story of a young woman waiting for a transplant. She decided raise awareness about organ donation, and her efforts not only dramatically increased the number of organ donations in Ontario, but also got the attention of Justin Bieber, led to a surprise appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and resulted in Hélène Campbell Day here in Ottawa.

Hélène’s surgery has been big news and her picture has been on TV a lot. Each time she appears, my almost-four-year-old daughter turns to my wife and says, with glee, Mommy, it’s your friend! She has new lungs!

We’re all very happy for Hélène, and hope she recovers quickly.

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. Wow, that’s a great story! When you think about all those smokers destroying their lungs every time they inhale tobacco smoke, they’re taking life for granted. But it’s nice people like Hélène get what they deserve every once in a while…

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