Dave comes home 32 days after transplant

March 22 2019
Dave comes home 32 days after transplant

A CHIPPING Sodbury chef who was taken seriously ill then lost his job in the space of a few weeks is back home following a successful lung transplant.

Dave Lawrence and his wife Shamsi Kabbara are “ecstatic and elated” to be out of hospital after what has been a physical rollercoaster ride for Dave and an emotionally exhausting time for them both. In the weeks following the operation Dave experienced infections and bouts of severe sickness.

Dave was a familiar face at the Mexican restaurant Amigos, which closed at short notice within weeks of him being diagnosed with a severe lung condition, leaving him and his wife Shamsi Kabbara, who also has a health condition, facing an uncertain future.

Friends, neighbours and former customers rallied round to raise money to help with the family’s living costs and, as of last week, had raised more than £7,000 to help them through the crisis.

After a stay at Southmead Hospital, Dave was assessed for a lung transplant operation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which took place after only a five-day wait for a donor.

Initially the couple were given the all clear to come home, as Dave had made huge progress, only to have their hopes dashed when he became ill.

When the phone call came saying he could go providing doctors were happy with his test results, Shamsi prepared herself in case anything changed again.

Writing on her blog, she said: “I carried on, as if it were any other day. I didn’t pack my room up, I went to the supermarket, I made sandwiches for Dave, I went to the hospital, just like I had every other day.

At the hospital, every minute felt like 10. Every knock on the door made our hearts leap with joy that the doctor was coming to say everything was good to go. The wait was agonising!”

Then came tears as, after many medical checks, Dave was discharged on March 19. The family are now back home, reunited with their 12 year old daughter Yasmine, who has been looked after by family and friends.

 Dave at home in his living room after being released from hospital

Shamsi is now responsible for Dave’s medication, preparing his drugs and following a schedule every day.

She and Dave are focusing on his recovery but remain acutely aware of how lucky Dave has been.

Shamsi said: “It’s important to stress how grateful we are to the donor and their family and the very talented transplant team. The opt-out law on organ donation has had Royal assent but it still won’t be in place until spring 2020, so the importance of organ donation registration and discussing your decision with family is essential.”