Bristol woman gets lung transplant

BRISTOL — A Bristol woman dealing with a potentially deadly disease got the call she was waiting for on Wednesday.
Kaitlin Heffernan, 25, was diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that limits the functionality of many vital organs, including the kidneys, liver and pancreas. But it chiefly affects the lungs by producing mucus that is much thicker than normal, which makes the organs susceptible to infection and decreases respiratory function over time.
Yesterday she got a call from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, telling her to leave immediately and prepare for a double lung transplant. At press time she was in surgery, which was predicted to last anywhere from six to 12 hours.
As reported in the Independent this past spring, Kaitlin’s lung function has deteriorated to the point where she needs a new pair of lungs. After the surgery she will have to spend months convalescing in Boston under the close supervision of doctors.
The Independent will update this story in Monday’s edition and online at

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