For most people, breathing takes place without one making a conscious choice to do it. However, to Jennifer Jones who had taken every single breath with an agonizing dose of pain, she would never forget the day when she could finally breathe easily without the help of a respirator.
Eleven years ago, Jennifer, 40, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. As her health deteriorated, her lungs gradually losing their capabilities and functions, making the simplest task of breathing a very excruciating moment for Jennifer.
In June last year, she started seeking for lung transplant donor. By October, her lung function was down to 10.8 percent, causing her to rely heavily on a respirator to help her breathing.
Thankfully, she found a perfect donor
Following a successful lung transplant surgery, her fiancé, Robert Ronnenberg, 38, decided to record the touching moment of Jennifer trying out her new set of lungs. It was the first time in many years that Jennifer finally able to breathe without pain.
Jennifer recalls the post-surgery moment: “For so long I have not been able to breathe like that.”
She continued: “At first I was scared and then it was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I can breathe! I can still breathe and I’m still taking in all this air,’ and it was overwhelming. It was incredible”
Jennifer’s magical recovery was all due to the unselfish action of an anonymous donor who donated the lungs to her.
Today, she is able to live with her lungs functioning at 93 percent
On National Donor Day, she also has a special message for the donor family.
“I wouldn’t be here today without them. It’s not about me, it’s about them and their legacy lives on because I get to live it now and that’s a special thing that I am so proud of, and I take these lungs and take this gift as like a child almost, that I’ll protect with all my life. Their legacy, but my miracle.”
Rob then uploaded the video of Jennifer taking her first unobstructed breath on Youtube which has garnered over 30 million views. They also received some heartfelt responses from other donor families who watched the video.
Rob said that one woman reached out to them after watching the video online. “She lost a nephew,” Rob explains. “She said, ‘you know, we got the card from the family that received the organs and that was nice, but nothing moved me or gave me that sense of closure and really what it means to be an organ donor and recipient like watching this video and seeing her face and knowing that she gets to live and seeing that impact.’ That’s what this is all about.”
Rob and Jennifer were truly grateful for the transplant and they wished that the video could help spread the message of how powerful an organ donation could be in changing one’s life for the better.