Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Young People's Takeover: Charles Micheal Duke

Hi there!

My Names Charles Michael Duke, I'm a singer/actor from Bournemouth. I’m currently 20 years old, and I have cystic fibrosis. Oh, and I've been waiting for a double lung transplant since April 2015...

I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth and had a fairly healthy childhood, with around one admission for intravenous (IV) antibiotics a year. However, in 2014 it all started to go a bit downhill. I started to be admitted more regularly, and my lung function was rapidly declining.

Since 2014 I have been admitted several times,, spending around seven out of 12 months in hospital. In June 2014 it was decided that my health had gotten to a point where we needed to consider lung transplantation, so I was refereed for assessments. Unfortunately, my health didn't improve and I went through the assessments and was listed in April 2015, and have been waiting for a double lung transplant since. I’m currently spending two weeks in hospital in the hope that this will keep me 'well enough' for when my call comes, and I will be able to survive the operation and get through the rehab process.

Being a teenager with CF for me wasn’t too difficult; my CF never got in the way, and I was able to fit treatments around socials and going to friends’ houses. They were all aware of my condition and were accommodating of it. However, with my recent decline, had my health been in this state when I was younger it would have made things much harder. I can’t always go as out as I’m not well enough, I don’t do sports so would have missed out on lots of socials that involved things like football down the park. I wouldn’t have been able to stay out or over at a friends as I now require oxygen at night. Although my health isn’t in the best of states now, I would rather it happen in this stage of my life than my childhood/teenage years – I was able to have a childhood, which some people with CF aren’t able to say.

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