February 20, 2017

Perseverance at Lungs in Action leads to the gift of life

Mutu Mellish is a 55 year old Gold Coast resident living with end-stage COPD. Early in 2016, doctors advised Mutu that a lung transplant was his best option however, at that time, he was not physically well enough to be put on the transplant list.

To improve his strength, Mutu completed pulmonary rehabilitation which helped him make some physical gains. Although he was still not well enough to make the transplant list, Mutu didn’t give up and in June, he started Lungs in Action classes at Cura Care in Ashmore, attending twice a week. With hard work and determination he began to see an increase in his exercise tolerance.

Incredibly, after only four months, Mutu passed a number of physical tests and made it onto the transplant list. He attributes his success to the unwavering support of Lungs in Action instructor Annette and the Cura Care team, other class members who are his new supportive social network and the ongoing support from his sister.

In November 2016, Mutu received the phone call he had been waiting for. He underwent a successful transplant operation and completed the rehabilitation program at Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. Within weeks of his transplant, he began engaging in light exercise, breathing and relaxation exercises as well as Tai Chi.

Mutu says he is now looking forward to returning to his Lungs in Action class in the coming months and would like to support others within the Lungs in Action group by acting in a peer-support mentoring role.

We thank Mutu for sharing his inspiring story and wish him the best of luck in his journey ahead. We also recognise Mutu’s donor and their family members who unselfishly gave him the gift of life.

For more information about pulmonary rehabilitation and Lungs in Action or to find a location near you, phone freecall 1800 654 301 or visit www.lungfoundation.com.au.