LECLAIRE, Iowa (KWQC) - Taking her dog for a walk outside is something 20-year-old Analiese Chapman would not have had the strength to do a few months ago. The day Analiese received the new she was getting new lungs, she was already in the hospital with three collapsed lungs
The “previous week my one lung had collapsed twice and the other one had collapsed once,” says Chapman pointing to her chest.
She remembers the day and time she received the news that would save her life
It was “Sunday at 5 o'clock I think, my doctor was on the floor hanging out on the floor and she's usually not out that late at night. She was like ok Analiese we've accepted organs for you. We all kinda freaked out and me and mom were like is this a joke? And dad was like omg this is awesome and my sister and my cousin started screaming,” says Chapman smiling.
Five hours after surgery doctors wanted Analiese to walk. It was a moment she had been preparing for by doing squats daily.
“Because I had low blood pressure during surgery they couldn't give me any pain meds except for Tylenol and when you have your chest cracked open Tylenol doesn't really cut it so i was just in a lot of pain but my legs were pretty decently strong and I was able to get out of bed,” says Chapman.
She says being young helped her body to recover. But that mentally learning to trust her body after being on oxygen for a year and a half was a challenge.
“We were up doing laps and I was arguing with my nurse that I needed this oxygen. I said no I need it I can't breathe without it I'm going to have it. And he was like ‘ok fine.’ And I said ‘yeah we are going to do it my way.’”
But what Chapman didn’t know was that her nurse had turned off the Oxygen. And he didn’t tell her till they were done.
“It was a mental thing,” admits Chapman.
“So once I realized then it was good but yeah it was a little bit of a struggle,” she adds.
Back at home in LeClaire, Chapman says she’s able to once again enjoy the simple beauties around her.
“The first night that we came home and it was nice enough to open the windows and have the fans and everything going it just felt so good,” says Chapman.
About a month after her transplant Analiese turned 20.
“I was in the hospital, it wasn't great but it was good. I could breathe so I can't complain. Mom asked me what I wanted and I said I don’t want anything I got my gift. I have been so blessed this year,” says Chapman.
Analiese still has to be supervised by her family for the first three months as it's a critical period. And her health has to be closely monitored for the first year post-transplant.
How does she view the future?
“Unknown, because I mean I'm excited for it and I'm ready for it but I really didn't think I'd make it to this point. and everyone keeps asking me what do I want to do and I'm like I have no Idea what I want to be when I grow up,” she says smiling.
The Chapman family says that while this has been a happy time for their family, they understand that there is a family out there mourning the loss of a loved one. And that is not lost upon them. They say they are grateful to that family because their gift allowed Analiese to begin thinking about her future for the first time.