Elisia Blower will be moving to Vancouver to undergo a double lung transplant. A benefit dinner will be held for her on May 26 at 5 p.m. at the Francois Lake Hall. (Submitted photo)

Resident to receive double lung transplant

In June, Burns Lake resident Elisia Blower will make one of the biggest moves of her life.

Her first big move was her journey from Ireland when she was 11.

Next month, her move won’t be as big geographically-speaking, rather it will be for her future because she is due to undergo a double lung transplant in Vancouver.

“I am going to move down there for a year. And hopefully my chances will be better by being there,” she told Lakes District News.

Around three years ago Blower was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease. Its cause isn’t clearly known and there is no cure.

“I used to be out of breath and then I was diagnosed. It gradually gets worse. I didn’t used to be on oxygen. Now I’m on oxygen full time,” she explained.

In June she has an appointment with a specialist but he can’t give an exact time on when the transplant can happen.

“It’s like a waiting game. Somebody has to pass away, God forgive me for saying that. It has to be a match, it has to be the right blood, it has to be right size. Hopefully it happens before a year.”

Once the time comes she’ll have two hours to get to Vancouver General Hospital for the operation.

While down south she plans to rent out her house in Burns Lake so she can help pay rental costs when she lives with her son in Pitt Meadows.

After the operation, her daughter will be with her 24/7.

“If you make it through they don’t keep you long. Then you have regular [hospital] visits that become less frequent.”

Since her diagnosis, Blower’s friends in the community have offered her consistent support by helping her with household chores and taking her to the doctor.

With an upcoming spaghetti benefit dinner on May 26, her friends are helping ensure she still receives that support once she moves to Vancouver.

“[Housing] is going to be expensive for her. We’re going to raise money to help her out with her accommodation in Vancouver. The next best thing we can do is have a benefit for her. And of course give moral support,” said Joan McFee, who is organizing the dinner at the Francois Lake Hall.

Blower said she was overwhelmed when she heard about the benefit dinner.

“I’m really appreciate and thankful. That’s what good about our little communities. We try to help each other out.”

The event starts at 5 p.m. and will include performances by three local bands and a silent auction of home baked goods.

Contact Joan McFee for tickets at 695-6381 or visit the Burns Lake Chamber of Commerce office.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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