Teenager who may not live to see her 21st birthday makes YouTube plea to find a life-saving organ donor
Holly has cystic fibrosis and has only 20 per cent lung function
It would be amazing if more people signed up even if it's too late for me, says brave teenMarks growing trend of patients making heartfelt appeals for organs online
12:23 GMT, 17 September 2012
A teenager who urgently needs two lungs to survive into her twenties has posted a heart-wrenching plea on YouTube.
Holly Pereira, 19, who has cystic fibrosis, created a three-minute black and white film to aid her cause.
She says: 'There is nothing more I can do but hope that call will come. But sadly I know sometimes it’s too late and the call won’t come on time.'
Scroll down for video…
Holly describes what life is like with cystic fibrosis and says she almost can't imagine what it must be like to be able to breathe properly
Holly is just one of thousands of people turning to the internet to make heart-felt appeals for organs direct to the public.
Last month a controversial U.S website that allows people who need a kidney to plead directly for a living donor online launched in the UK.
Under the American scheme users who sign
up to the website MatchingDonors can watch personal appeals and read
about their background before deciding who they would like to donate to.
Many needy recipients upload videos
of themselves perhaps playing the guitar, while others feature their
children asking viewers to help make their parents better.
Holly says simple tasks such as climbing stairs are difficult for her
donors can also get in touch with the patient via a messaging service.
Once a person decides they would like to donate their kidney they can
check to see if they are a blood type match before their suitability is
Holly was making a general plea for people in the UK to join the organ donor register – so that organs could be transplanted after death.
The former student from Buxted, East Sussex, reveals in the clip how she finds everyday tasks like walking very difficult and was forced to quit university because of her poor health.
Holly was born with the condition – which causes mucus to build up and clog the lungs – and was put on a transplant waiting list three months ago.
With only 20 per cent of her lungs now functioning, she is now in desperate need of a double lung transplant.
She says: 'I live with cystic fibrosis, a condition that affects the lungs and the digestive system.
'It makes the smallest, everyday tasks, like showering, walking or taking the stairs very difficult as I get out of breath very easily.
'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 is a genetic condition that causes the build up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs and digestive system (see xray of a CF patient, left). Both Holly (right) and her brother have CF
'This could be 18 months or over and during this time my illness may get progressively worse, which means I may rely on oxygen to breathe and may not be able to get around properly.
'To be able to receive a new pair of lungs would mean that my life would be significantly better, I would be able to do things I can’t do at the moment.'
She ends the video by urging people to sign up to the organ donor register and saying how, once she does not need them, she will give 'any of my healthy organs away'.
She reminds viewers that the most crucial step is to let close family know what organs they would wish to donate as they have the final say after death.
Miss Pereira’s brother Jake, 18, also has the condition and may need the same procedure.
Their father, 50-year-old private plastic surgeon John Pereira, who works at The Esperance Hospital in Eastbourne, said: 'We didn’t know Holly had the condition until Jack was born. It was a double whammy.'
Miss Pereira adds in the film: 'If I can get just a few people to sign up to the register which in future saves lives, even if its too late for me, that would be amazing.'
VIDEO: A plea from the heart… Watch Holly's video here…