Emotional walk for lung transplant teen Katie

11:17 09 October 2013

Brave Barnstaple teenager Katie Gammon, 15, and mum Angie Hart are urging people to join them on an emotional fund-raising walk on Saturday.

Brave Barnstaple teenager Katie Gammon, 15, and mum Angie Hart are urging people to join them on an emotional fund-raising walk on Saturday.

Archant

Barnstaple youngster to lead annual Tarka Walk weeks after life-saving surgery.

Brave Barnstaple teenager Katie Gammon, 15,  is urging people to join her on an emotional fund-raising walk on Saturday.Brave Barnstaple teenager Katie Gammon, 15, is urging people to join her on an emotional fund-raising walk on Saturday.

BRAVE Barnstaple teenager Katie Gammon, 15, is urging people to join her on an emotional fund-raising walk on Saturday.

Just two months after receiving a life-saving double lung transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, cystic fibrosis sufferer Katie will be leading a five-mile walk along the Tarka Trail.

It’s the third Tarka Walk event her family has organised in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. An event in 2011 raised £1,500, while last year’s walk raised £7,000.

Katie was too poorly to take part last year, so Saturday’s event means more to her than ever.

Sign the organ donor register today and help save a life tomorrow.Sign the organ donor register today and help save a life tomorrow.

“I have so much more energy now; I can walk and laugh properly,” said Katie, whose lung function has risen from 14 per cent to nearly 74 per cent since her transplant.

“Last year I was unable to take part in the walk – even in a wheelchair – due to an infection but this year I’m going to walk as much as I can.

“I don’t get out of breath at all any more and am now concentrating on building my strength up.

“I’ve been going to the gym at the hospital and using the cross-trainer, bike and balance ball.”

"I have so much more energy now; I can walk and laugh properly."

Katie Gammon

Katie will be supported on the day by Honiton organ donation campaigner Kirstie Tancock, who by coincidence is recovering herself after receiving a second lung transplant during the same weekend in August.

Katie’s mum Angie Hart said: “Katie and Kirstie have followed each others’ journeys and have kept in contact.

“We invited Kirstie to take part in the walk and are delighted that she’s agreed to come.”

Park Community School pupil Katie has not been able to go to school since February last year but hopes to be given the all clear to return to class on November 4.

"Last year I was unable to take part in the walk – even in a wheelchair – due to an infection but this year I’m going to walk as much as I can."

Katie Gammon

“I’m not allowed to mix properly at the moment due to the risk of infection but I’m looking forward to going back and seeing all my friends,” she said.

Mum Angie added: “Katie only has to go to Great Ormond Street once a fortnight now instead of every week – everyone there is so impressed with how she’s doing.

“They said that most people at this stage are still in hospital but Katie has always been determined from the word go – she’s a fighter.

“It’s hard to keep her down since she’s had her new lungs; she just wants to get up and go all the time.”

But despite Katie’s strong recovery, every day presents fresh challenges for the plucky teenager, who has to take antibiotics and will be dependent on anti-rejection medication for the rest of her life.

The combination of drugs means she now suffers from diabetes and has had problems with her hearing.

“Even though she has got new lungs, every day is still a battle,” said Angie.

“It’s not an easy ride – but I’m just glad she’s still here.”

Katie’s family friendly Tarka Walk leaves the civic centre car park at 12noon on Saturday.

The proceeds will be split between the CF Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Caroline Thorpe ward at North Devon District Hospital.

Entry is £6 for adults and £3 for under-15s. Under-fives go free.

Participants can sign up on the day but to register beforehand and for sponsorship forms, email Angie Hart at angiehart1967@hotmail.co.uk or visit Tarka Walk 2013 on Facebook.

Related articles

1 comment

  • Awesome Katie!! You are lovely!!! Good luck on your walk. Enjoy every breath you take along the walk. I wish you the best with your new lungs. I received my gift of two beautiful lungs back in 2002 from a young 15 year old boy. His name was Tory and I am close with his mother today. I too had to have my life saving lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis. I am a fifty year old CF'r thanks to my Transplant. I am half English and my mother lives in a little Villiage called Hartley Wintney near Basingstoke. Have a great walk and a very long life!!

    Report this comment

    Michael Adams

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

Other News Stories

****

Survey by The Children’s Society finds council tax debt is ‘widespread’ among North Devon and Torridge.

Read more
Sarah Stott from Childrens Hospice South West with members of staff from Dainton's self storage.

Barnstaple storage facility raises more than £6,000 for Children’s Hospice South West.

Read more
North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Fitness consultancy launches new class at North Devon Leisure Centre to help people who have survived a stroke.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00
Rodney Cann will stand as a Conservative in the May local elections. Picture: Tony Gussin

Deputy leader of district council will stand for the party he was deselected from at the last election.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:11
North Devon's election candidates busy answering YOUR questions at Gazette HQ.

Catch up on Thursday night’s live online election hustings with the North Devon candidates.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:14
Waterloo House in Lynton is believed to be the oldest boarding house in the village.

The Grade II listed Waterloo House dates back to 1828 - and is on the market as a bed and breakfast.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:53
School governors and pupils at the opening of phase two of the Chulmleigh project in September 2014

Good news for North Devon as minister makes Condition Improvement Fund announcement

Read more
Yesterday, 11:02

Silver Peugeot in collision near Two Potts

Read more
Yesterday, 09:44
Newport head teacher Andrew Cotton with members of the school’s leadership team, Mo Cann, Sue Gibson and Gillian Courtenay are pictured with pupils representing every year group at the school. Picture: Andy Keeble

Barnstaple primary school earns top praise from Ofsted inspectors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:24
The North Devon and Torridge Green Party launched their election campaign this week

North Devon and Torridge candidates and members come together at Tapeley Park

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder