A novel way to say thanks

New Zealand Herald | Regan Shoultz

Lung recipient plans a book to encourage people to become organ donors.

Teresa Burt has a new lease on life after a bilateral lung transplant. Photo / Nick Reed

Just over two years ago, 47-year-old Teresa Burt was lying in Middlemore Hospital on life support, her family fearing she would never wake up.

Now, she has a new set of lungs and is on a mission to raise awareness about organ donation.

The Counties Manukau clerk's brush with death came after contracting respiratory syncytial virus, a common virus that leads to cold-like symptoms in adults.

"The virus hit me hard. I had a history as an asthmatic and then an underlying lung condition I didn't know about," she said.

After a week, her family were advised by doctors to turn off life support. They were told she would likely die within half an hour.

But Burt began breathing by herself and opened her eyes. "After a week in ICU we were getting tired and she was tired," said her husband Andrew. Continue reading