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Yasmin Swift from Ashford needs double lung transplant at Papworth Hospital

A seriously ill 20-year-old is lying in a hospital bed waiting for a double lung transplant - her only hope of survival.

Brave Yasmin Swift of Willesborough, Ashford, has touched the lives of many by sharing her battles with the invisible illness that has now confined her to London's Royal Free hospital.

Yasmin has a rare condition, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), which leads to high blood pressure in the blood vessels supplying the lungs. It can damage the right side of the heart, causing it to fail.

Yasmin talks about her condition to KMTV last year

Outward healthy, with glowing skin and a radiant smile,Yasmin launched a social media campaign to gain more recognition for unseen illnesses.

It came after a stranger put a note on her car parked in Tenterden, threatening to report her to the council for misusing a disabled space.

Her condition leaves her breathless and Yasmin is also prone to headaches and sickness, side effects of medication pumped into her body through an intravenous (IV) drip to prevent clots and widen her blood vessels.

Her mum Mandy, 45, says that tablets and IV therapy, which usually control the disease for decades, have stopped working, leading to fluid build-up on her lungs and heart.

It meant that ex-Homewood School, Tenterden, pupil Yasmin, who was admitted to hospital three weeks before Christmas, spent her 20th birthday on a ward at the Royal Free.

Yasmin at home in Willesborough with all her medication (6615170)
Yasmin at home in Willesborough with all her medication (6615170)
Yasmin, pictured in the Royal Free Hospital(6615168)
Yasmin, pictured in the Royal Free Hospital(6615168)

The former student of The Hair Academy in Ashford is now too unwell to leave the Royal Free, having been re-admitted on Tuesday and is awaiting a lung transplant, which will take place at Papworth hospital in Cambridge,

Mandy said: "Yasmin is now at the very top priority for a lung transplant, the super-super urgent list, and it usually takes 11 days for lungs to become available.

"Her body can't cope any more - her heart is big and baggy and her kidneys are showing signs of struggle.

"Ideally she needs a heart and lung transplant but both organs are rarely available together.

Her heart should shrink back down when she's had the transplant but she has a big journey ahead as she will have to go on anti-rejection [immunosuppressant] drugs after her operation."

"Yasmin told her registrar that if she got a new pair of lungs she would look after them.

Yasmin is awaiting a double lung transplant (6615172)
Yasmin is awaiting a double lung transplant (6615172)

"She signed the organ donor register as a teenager and told me she would be happy to donate her eyes (corneas) to give someone else the pleasure of sight."

"I wish more people would join the register because if a family member was in Yasmin's situation, people would realise how desperate it is."

Mandy added: "I'm heartbroken about Yasmin's condition and petrified of what is to come but we are both staying hopeful and optimistic."

Yasmin's Instagram posts can be seen on swift_yasmin Yasmin's Unseen Illness and she also has an Unseen Illness Facebook group.

Lifelong friend of the family Sarah Ward, 46, is running the Brighton marathon to raise funds for Yasmin and to donate click here.

A charity ball in aid of Yasmin is being held at Ashford International Hotel on Saturday, April 13 and businesses are being asked to donate raffle prizes by emailing charityball@orbital.net

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