lung transplant

Tanya Bothma celebrated her 2nd Lung-aversary in December and shared a heartfelt thanks to Groote Schuur for helping her along her transplant journey.


Cape Town, South Africa – Tanya Bothma, 40, had been in and out of hospital her entire life because of lung issues, and by 2017 she had only 14% lung capacity. After doctors at Groote Schuur Hospital told her she was a candidate for a lung transplant, she received a pair of lungs from an organ donor in December 2017. The operation was the first bilateral lung transplant to be carried out at a state hospital in South Africa.

Tanya decided she would make her donor proud and used her new lease on life to do more. In October last year, Tanya took part in the Great Optimist Race, which was held at the Cape Town International Boat Show on 19 October 2019.

The race involved 40 celebrities, corporates, charities and medical survivors navigating the V&A Waterfront harbour waters in Optimists (children’s dinghies). The participants used the race to raise funds for their selected charities. Naturally, Tanya chose the Groote Schuur’s Lung Transplant Unit. She ended up raising R 42,412.83

On her second Lung-aversary, which took place shortly after her big race in a little boat, Tanya thanked the lung transplant unit for supporting her during her journey and helping her reach year two.

“For the first time in 40 years, I haven’t been in hospital once this year! Hospital stays were the norm, I was part of the furniture, I knew 2 homes… my residential home and my hospital ward. I can’t tell you how awesome this feeling is! To think I thought that was normal is an understatement!

I can now do things without being afraid of what the weather is doing, is it cold outside, is it raining? All I have to worry about is keeping warm. Am I going to battle to breathe due to the cold weather? Being deadly sick the next day and possibly landing up in hospital, all these things were the norm!

Obviously I just stay away from anyone that’s sick, rejection is a fear but something I try not to think about.
I can now walk with my daughter, I can go and watch her hockey games for instance which wasn’t always possible before! Not relying on others to always pick her up and dropping her off at school.

I feel as though I can conquer the world, I just want others to experience what I’m experiencing! I owe all this to Groote Schuur, the amazing doctors, staff, my hero of a donor and then lastly my Father above”

Tanya hopes to encourage more people to become organ donors. If you would like to find out more, you can contact the Organ Donor Foundation here.

Sources: Heroes of Groote Schuur Facebook
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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