It may have taken seventeen hours and sixteen people to do it, but Reid Wylie is finally on a path to living a regular life.
The Toronto teen suffers from cystic fibrosis, a nasty genetic disease that causes the lungs to fill with mucus, and leaves its victims prone to repeated infections, diabetes and even death. To cope, Wylie had an entire regiment to keep up, which involved hammering back handfuls of pills, using insulin and needing to have his lungs drained twice a day. Hardly the kind of existence a 19-year-old boy (or anyone, for that matter) should have to deal with.
A few months ago the teen was admitted to Toronto General Hospital for a severe lung infection, and it was there doctors decided he was a candidate for a triple transplant. His lungs, liver and pancreas all needed to be swapped out. While these kinds of triple-organ transplants aren’t anything new, this particular operation marked the first time in the world those three organs would be transplanted from a single donor in a single operation.
“I was scared,” Wylie said, referring to when he first heard the news. “When you realize something is the only option, somehow it becomes less scary.”
Fortunately, the operation was a success, and Wylie is literally a new man. He can walk, and even run without the help of oxygen. He’s hoping to return to school so he can graduate, and he also plans on going to the gym and doing a little bit of travel.