Double lung transplant recipient Helene Campbell to get a big welcome home | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Double lung transplant recipient Helene Campbell to get a big welcome home

Double lung transplant recipient Helene Campbell in Toronto, May 24, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
July 17, 2012 - 11:11 AM

OTTAWA - Politicians and adoring fans are celebrating the homecoming of an Ottawa double lung transplant recipient who has taken on celebrity status.

Helene Campbell is home from a long stay in Toronto and will be formally welcomed back today by federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and others.

Aglukkaq has been a big fan of Campbell ever since the young woman's campaign to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation took on a life of its own.

The 21-year-old was admitted to hospital with collapsed lungs almost a year ago, and was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a medical condition that she could only survive with a transplant.

Rather than sit back and wait for a transplant, Campbell started a social media campaign in January that gained international attention from the likes of pop idol Justin Bieber and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

The highly successful campaign saw thousands of people register for Ontario's transplant donor website.

Campbell's transplant team at Toronto General Hospital gave her approval to return home yesterday, a little over three months after she had life-saving surgery.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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