25-year-old Tiffany Senter was born with cystic fibrosis, a chronic genetic disease that causes fluid to build up in numerous organs, including kidneys, intestines, liver, and pancreas.
The condition is most devastating to the lungs as it drowns in the malfunctioning mucus. She has already had three sets of lungs.
When Tiffany was born, it was evident she had severe cystic fibrosis. Doctors first told her parents to take the newborn home and enjoy the limited time they would have with her b.ut her parents refused to give up and she didn’t give up either.
Tiffany went to school until age 14. Her lungs got weaker and her condition got worse that it became dangerous for her to be around children with common colds.
At 16, she was suffering and dying. Tiffany had a lung transplant a year later and it saved her life. Four years later, her body started to reject the new organs.
She got another chance at life when she received a second set of lungs at the age of 23.
Tiffany is now breathing easier but she still spends most of her time at the hospital. Her other organs have been affected, leaving her vulnerable to numerous infections.
She manages to keep her spirits up and gets inspiration from her idol, Marilyn Monroe. She does her makeup and hair all from the hospital bed.
Tiffany told Daily Mail Online: ‘My motto is: ‘’If you look good, you feel good.’’’
She ordered makeup kits and created new looks even though she only had 9 percent lung function.
‘The pathologist said he didn’t know how I was hanging in there. My right lung had completely died, and there was just one spot on the left lung that was giving me air,’ she expressed.
‘It’s hard to see, many of us, you can’t tell that we’re chronically ill. Then when you get to see your lungs it puts in perspective what we actually go through – even for me.’
Her failing lungs were replaced with another set in 2017. But after a year and a half, they were in the first stages of rejection and failure.
Tiffany’s body is too weak and traumatized to have any shot for a third transplant.
‘My sternum is already wired shut and clipped. There’s really no room for them to operate and my chances of survival would be so low,’ she said.
Her lungs are functioning at 60 percent and her kidneys have failed three times. ‘It’s bittersweet. No one is ready to face the possibility of death at 25, so I hope the medications can keep me stable for a long time,’ she said.
Her message to the families of her lung donors is simple: ‘I can’t imagine what it would be like for them, and I just want them to know how much I appreciate their gift and i’m doing my best to do them justice.’
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