Jillian Langen is thankful for every breath she takes.
The 27-year-old mom from Saskatoon, who has lived with cystic fibrosis her whole life, recently underwent a double lung transplant.
Without it, she would have died.
Last December, Langen was admitted to hospital after her lungs collapsed.
Two months later, in February 2016, she was air lifted to hospital in Edmonton with five per cent lung function.
Then, just a few weeks later, the news came that would save her life.
“I got a visit from my transplant coordinator and she calmly said we have an offer for lungs,” Langen said.
“My husband and I just looked at each other and started to cry. At that moment I knew it was going to save my life.”
Right before the surgery, Langen wasn’t able to form full sentences.
She remains in hospital where she says her recovery has gone amazingly well.
“We haven’t really had any hiccups,” she said.
“I’ve been going to the gym every day. My lung function continues to go up; everything’s healing perfectly.”
This week is dedicated to national organ and tissue awareness, which has extra special meaning for Langen.
She considers herself lucky, as some people wait months – or even years – for a transplant.
“It’s still hard to wrap my head around that I’m alive because of someone else,” Langen said.
“Another person’s body parts are inside of me and it’s surreal and amazing. I just thank the donor family so much. I can’t thank them enough.”
Langen plans on writing the donor family a letter and hopes to one day meet.