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Abbey Wood 25-year-old runs 10K after double lung transplant
Sophie Gannon, 25, is running 10K after a double lung transplant, pictured with her brother Danny Gannon
An Abbey Wood cystic fibrosis sufferer who nearly died before having a double lung transplant is running 10K to help beat the disease.
The family of Sophie Gannon, 25, were told she was going to die when she was just 21-years-old and her lung function dropped to about eight per cent of a healthy individual.
She has spoken of the trauma of “crawling up” stairs while attached to oxygen leads and being kept alive for two months in hospital.
But the former St Paul’s Academy pupil eventually gained a double lung transplant at Harefield Hospital and is now taking on a fundraising feat to help fight the disease.
Ms Gannon, who lives in Howarth Road, said: “I had a terrible time. I was kept alive for two months in hospital.
“I had to learn how to walk and talk after being bedridden. It was very traumatic, but everyone really helped out.
“There are still problems, but nothing like before.”
The school office assistant, who frequently fundraises for charity, has always dreamed of running the marathon.
But her lung capacity is still around 60 to 70 per cent and she is training for the Bupa 10K run on May 25 which her brother Danny Gannon, 21, will run with her for support.
She said: “It feels brilliant to me because since I was a child, I had 50 per cent or lower, but technically I’m still about half of a normal person’s lung capacity, so it is a big thing for me to do.”
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition which causes internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus, resulting in chronic infections.
There are around 10,000 sufferers in the UK and statistically only half live to celebrate their 40th birthday.
Ms Gannon was also spurred on to run to try and beat panic attacks which she sometimes experienced after her ordeal.
She said: “I used to have panic attacks and I did this to push past it.
“It hits you with everyday things. When I run upstairs now – before the transplant, I had oxygen leads everywhere and had to crawl up the stairs.
"A 21-year-old not able to take a shower or get dressed on their own isn’t normal. It is the little things.”
To support Sophie and her brother visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Gannon with all cash raised going to Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
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