An inspirational teenager who was in desperate need of a potentially life-saving double lung transplant has had the operation.
Hayley Barker (17), from Padiham, had surgery on Saturday at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, after a donor became available and her family said she is making good progress. Her aunt Kerry Yates said Hayley, who is in the specialist heart and lungs intensive care unit, is now managing to talk, eat, sit up and is already making plans for her 18th birthday next year.
The call to say a donor was available came at 8pm last Friday and within hours, after countless tests, Hayley was taken down to theatre for the 10-hour operation.
Kerry said: “Before she went into theatre she just said ‘I’m not nervous, let’s just get on with it.’ I can’t tell you how proud we are of her. All the medical staff are fighting to look after her.”
Kerry said that although Hayley, who has also battled leukaemia and had a bone marrow transplant, has a long way to go she is doing as well as can be expected.
She was taken off the ventilator on Sunday and her condition is improving daily.
“She’s doing really well and is getting a bit better every day.
“Obviously she’s still very poorly but the doctors are saying that everything that’s happening is what they would expect.
“She’s still on oxygen but they have reduced the dose.”
Just a few months ago Hayley was temporarily taken off the donor register because she was considered too poorly to have the operation.
Kerry, who, along with Hayley’s parents Lisa and Gary, issued an impassioned plea for more people to join the donor register, said it is too early to say how long she will be in hospital.
“She’s just wonderful, she’s a star and she’s so excited thinking about the future. She’s already planning her 18th next year and she wants to go back to college. She’s even talking about going jogging. But she said she’s going to look after the lungs because of what she’s had to go through to get them.”