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HELPING MELISSA - A heartfelt thank you goes out to the Lucknow Kinettes for their generous donation of $500 towards the Melissa Pyke “Just Breathe” Campaign. Melissa is a niece of Dawn Poels, shown accepting the cheque from Deb Murray of the Lucknow Kinettes. Pauline Kerr photo

Melissa gets her lung transplant

Melissa Pyke, 24, has cystic fibrosis and received a lung transplant Saturday, Jan. 5. As of press time, things were going very well. Melissa has been communicating with her family using her cell phone – she’s still breathing through a tube – and everyone’s optimistic.

Just before Christmas, Melissa’s health took a turn for the worse.  She was transferred from hospital in London to Toronto General Hospital and was placed at the top of the list for a transplant. Her prayers for a transplant early in the new year were realized. The doctor who headed Melissa’s surgical team is  Dr. Marcello Cypel, assistant professor of surgery, University of Toronto.

Melissa has a list of things she wants to do as soon as she’s able to – topping the list is chicken from Popeye’s (a fast food chain). But she faces a lengthy and challenging recovery, and will require a great deal of support from the community as well as family and the health care system.

Family and friends have been fundraising for Melissa to help with the out-of-pocket expenses they’ve been told will be up to $50,000 that will come with the lung transplant.

A recent donation of $500 came from the Lucknow Kinettes. Other donations from individuals and groups continue to pour in.

Melissa, her family and friends thank everyone for their continued support and prayers and want everyone to know that this is what gets Melissa through every day of this struggle for life she is facing.

Go to Melissa’s Facebook page – Melissa Pyke “Just Breathe Campaign” and leave your best wishes, follow her progress. Or go to dawnmpoels@hotmail.com (Dawn is Melissa’s aunt and family spokesperson). Anyone wishing to donate to Melissa’s cause can do so at Libro in Wingham, phone 519-357-2311; any cheques should be made payable to Melissa Pyke in Trust.

Melissa’s friends and family urge everyone to please fill out their organ donor information at BeADonor.ca – it only takes a couple of minutes but could change someone’s life – someone like Melissa.

Their joy at Melissa’s miracle is touched by the knowledge that another family is grieving. Their prayers are not only for Melissa but for the donor’s family and they hope the knowledge of that final  loving act gives them comfort.

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