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'I have the will to live': N.B. woman needs double lung transplant


The simple task of walking from one room to another causes New Brunswick woman Yvette Taylor to run out of breath and stops her in her tracks.

Everyday household chores that shouldn’t be too difficult for a woman her age are a struggle.

Taylor lives with sarcoidosis, a disease that limits her lung capacity and keeps her on an oxygen tank 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“And unfortunately I’ve got it in my lungs and I’ve had it for almost 48 years and my time is running out so I need a double lung transplant,” said Taylor.

She’s been approved for surgery in Toronto, but the process can’t start until her family finds affordable accommodations and a caregiver to nurse her back to health.

Her recovery in Ontario could take up to two years.

“I’m not crazy about that, but I have the will to live and I will do whatever it takes,” said Taylor.

Her daughter Julie Laforge has started a GoFundMe fundraiser to get her situated in Toronto and to pay for a caregiver, both huge costs.

NB Lung, the province’s lung association, can cover some expenses, but Laforge said it’s not nearly enough.

“Without this, we risk losing her at an early age. She’s got so much life to live. She’s 68 years old this month and I’ve only ever known my mom to be in and out of hospital my entire life,” said Laforge.

“Watching her suffer on a breathing tank and watching her put medications in her body and not be able to help her, it’s hard on the heart. It’s hard on the head.”

NB Lung has already helped by funding a trip to Toronto last fall to get her tests and assessments done, a great relief for the family.

Moving forward, they know there are programs to help them but they just scratch the surface of what they really need.

“It would be lovely to see her thrive in her 60s and 70s like most people do,” said Laforge.

Carole Ritchie, her friend of 15 years, said Taylor is the sweetest person and she wants to see her live a long life.

“She’d do anything for anybody else and if anybody deserves this chance, she does,” said Ritchie. “She’s got a window and it’s not a long window so she just has to get up there and get it done. She never complains, but yet she’s out of breath.”

Yvette Taylor (right) sits on a couch in her Riverview, N.B., home with her friend Carol Ritchie (left) and daughter Julie Laforge (centre).

Taylor’s health has deteriorated since her husband Vernon died of cancer a year-and-a-half ago.

She took care of her husband of 32 years right up until his death.

She admits living on her own is tough, but social workers do come to her home in Riverview, N.B., a few times a week and her family and friends provide her with a strong support system.

“That helps me a lot. Just to know that I have friends and my children are out there rooting for me. That means a lot. It just lifts my spirits up. Otherwise, I would be crying all the time,” said Taylor.

Taylor hasn’t ruled out going back to work someday saying she would do it in a heart beat.

More than anything, she wants to see her grandchildren grow up.

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