The Sault Star | Mike Verdone
Nancy Salvalaggio (nee Aubin) has been in a Toronto hotel awaiting a double lung and liver transplant at Toronto General Hospital (TGH) since mid-January. The 58-year-old Sault Ste. Marie woman was diagnosed with pulmonary fibroses about 18 months ago.
There are 66 people on the TGH list awaiting lung transplants
Nancy's husband, Lou Salvalaggio, says the couple temporarily took up residence in Toronto because prospective lung recipients must reside close to the downtown hospital. "That's part of the criteria. You have to be within a couple hours of the hospital," Lou said on Wednesday from his hotel room at Residence Inn Toronto Downtown/Entertainment District.
Salvalaggio, 60, retired when Nancy was diagnosed with the illness. He was superintendent at Canada Border Services in the Sault, where he worked for 37 years.
Nancy, who graduated from Korah Collegiate, was a palliative care nurse at the Community Care Access Centre. "She has been the Florence Nightingale of the community for many, many years," Lou said.
The Salvalaggios have two adult sons and two young grandchildren.
Nancy visits TGH three times each week to exercise in preparation of the transplant operation. Other than that she doesn't get out much, Lou says. Just getting up to brush her teeth is chore."But she's a trooper. We're all doing our best here,” Lou says.
But on Tuesday afternoon the couple will be at Queen's Park at the finish line of the Torch of Life Relay.
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