Doris Diaz

General Questions

How old are you?

14

Where are you from?

California

Transplant

What was your transplant?

double lung, received June 4, 2014, at 9

What was your condition that led to the transplant?

cystic fibrosis, which is genetic

What was life like before transplant?

It was… I definitely was separated from other kids.

Doris didn’t play on a playground. She carried a tank and people wondered. Doris was also weak.

How long did you wait for your transplant?

1 year

How was the road to recovery?

It took a while. I was in a coma for about a week. The whole process took about 3-4 months.

What can you do now after transplant?

I go to public school – a charter school. Now I get to play sports like other kids and be free.

Why do you think you’re the only lung transplant recipient in this camp?

Well, other than it being rare.

A pediatric lung transplant is rare. 1 in 39 pediatric patients waiting on the list for a lung transplant receive it. The older you get, the worse cystic fibrosis hits you. Most people get to 18 and that’s it.

Doris’s friend was 15, and he died then. Cystic fibrosis is also not well known.

The thing that gets me irritated is that doctors wait until you’re dying – dying to place you on the list, and once you’re on the list you don’t know how long it’s gonna take.

Why do they wait so long?

Just because so many other people need lungs – such as smokers and cancers – they put it off. They think you have time, unlike others.

Also, finding the perfect size is hard.

What can combat that?

Honestly, I think that everything has been done pretty good.

Doris also wants more advocacy for cystic fibrosis.

Every treatment you take away from her, every day you’re taking from her life.

Do you feel isolated?

Yes, that’s the word.

The people I do relate to don’t last that long.


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