Ipswich man’s tragic choice after body rejects donor lungs
AT JUST 28, an Ipswich man has had to face a situation most won't confront until they reach old age.
A decade on from a double lung transplant, Brandon Sanewski's battle with chronic illness has taken a turn for the worse.
His body has started to reject his donor lungs, making breathing incredibly difficult and causing his health to deteriorate rapidly.
The doctors who have helped Brandon manage his cystic fibrosis all his life have said there is nothing more they can do to help him.
Waking from a coma in Ipswich ICU, Brandon has made the heartbreaking choice to stop all treatment and begin palliative care.
His friend of more than 10 years, Kate Rootsey, is just one of many of Brandon's loved ones left devastated.
"At 28, you shouldn't have to make that decision to stop all treatment because there is no other option - most people don't even have to do that when they're 70," Kate said.
"It is very, very unlucky and strange to be 10 years out (after receiving the transplant) and to have this happen.
"He can't live like this, basically. If you could imagine breathing through a straw that's blocked and trying to do that for the rest of your life and having no energy, you can't. You can't live like that."
Kate set up a GoFundMe to help get Brandon home for his final days, to help him marry his fiance Erin Broderick at a bedside wedding ceremony and to cover funeral costs.
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"It's such a tragic and stressful situation he and his family are in at the moment and I guess having that little bit of financial ease takes one extra part out of the equation for them," she said.
"I can't stop Brandon dying but if this helps the family even a little bit, I'll be happy."
Already the appeal has raised more than $10,000, which goes directly to Brandon's family.
"We're still waiting to find out how getting home will be a possibility," Kate said.
"We don't even know how long he has to live - it's all a bit unknown. He doesn't have months."
Kate said she urged people to open a conversation with their family around organ donation.
"His organ donor is what has given him 10 more years of life and Brandon and his family are so thankful to that donor," she said.
"We're trying to raise as much awareness around that and around cystic fibrosis as we can."
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.