THE DAUGHTER of an Eastbourne plastic surgeon has made a heartfelt appeal for an organ donor to come forward after being told she needs replacement lungs.
Holly Pereira, whose father John works at the Esperance BMI Hospital in Hartington Place, took to video-sharing website YouTube to ask people to join the donor register in a bid to highlight the plight of fellow sufferers across the country.
The 19-year-old has cystic fibrosis, with just 20 per cent lung function and faces an anxious wait to see if a suitable donor can be found. If no organs are forthcoming, she faces the very real prospect of not living to see her 21st birthday.
Speaking on the three-minute clip, she said, “Being put on the list means that my chances of survival without a transplant may mean I only have a few years left to live.
“Due to the lack of organs available, I may find it hard to find a suitable donor. I am very small and my blood type that I am means I may have a longer wait.
“Cystic fibrosis makes the smallest, everyday tasks, like showering, walking or taking the stairs very difficult as I get out of breath very easily.
“If I can get just a few people to sign up to the register, even if its too late for me, that would be amazing.”
At the end of her short film, Miss Pereira urges people to sign the register and promises to give away all her organs when she no longer needs them.
Tragically, her 18-year-old brother Jake has the same condition, meaning he to will need a transplant at some point – something her dad admits was a tough pill to swallow.
He said, “We didn’t know Holly had the condition until Jack was born. It was a double whammy.”
Miss Pereira’s plea echoes that of long-suffering Eastbourne man Nathanael Adams who, earlier this year, took to Facebook to ask for a new kidney (visit www.facebook.com/HelpNathanaelFindAKidney).
Speaking to the Herald at the time, Nathanael said, “I know it may not find me a kidney but if it raises awareness and means more people sign up as organ donors and other people do not have to go through what I am, that is great,
“I am amazed by the people who donate their organs. If it weren’t for them, I would not be here today.”
For more information on how to register as a donor, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or speak to your GP.