A 52-year-old cancer survivor from Illinois got a double lung transplant after a severe case of COVID-19, despite being vaccinated.

“This is not going to stop me because I have a long life ahead of me. I have my children, my husband, my grandkids,” said Laura Bratlien, of Oak Forest.

Bratlien, who is a wife, mother and grandmother, beat cancer and then battled through months of hospitalisation after contracting COVID-19.

She spoke Thursday from her hospital bed while recovering from a double lung transplant.

Bratlien said her battle with COVID started in late April, a month after she got the vaccine.

‘Sore throat’ to unable to breathe

“It turned very quickly from a sore throat to the point where I couldn’t breathe,” she said.

“It got to the point where I couldn’t even talk enough to call an ambulance.”

She was hospitalised in May and said doctors told her the virus ripped through her lungs so bad, soon after she became a candidate for a double lung transplant.

“I got put on what’s called a bow, which means two tubes on this side, two tubes on this side,” she said.

Thankfully, Northwestern Hospital found her a match quickly and Bratlien underwent the transplant on August 1, saving her life.

A 52-year-old cancer survivor from Illinois got a double lung transplant after a severe case of COVID-19, despite being vaccinated.
A 52-year-old cancer survivor from Illinois got a double lung transplant after a severe case of COVID-19, despite being vaccinated. Credit: NBC

“God smiled at me and my family because we have a future. Now, we have another chance,” said Bratlien.

She said her family was her main motivation.

“They’ve been so supportive. I’ve seen the sight of my husband so supportive, that I haven’t seen before.,” she said.

“She’s a survivor, she’s a superhero, she’s just our inspiration, all of our inspiration of what how bad things can get and how you can overcome them. It’s, she’s just a truly amazing person,” said her husband Scott Bratlien.

And while she has a long road of recovery ahead, including learning how to walk again, she said she didn’t make it this far to let others gamble with their lives and COVID

Mother’s COVID plea

“It’s not going away just because people want to wish it away,” she said.

“People that don’t want to believe in COVID, or don’t want to wear a mask are selfish. Stop being selfish and put the mask on. Do it for love of your children, for love of your family.”

Bratlien hopes her story and her struggle will save others from heartbreak and the pain she’s endured.

“We need to come together as humanity as one big tribe and realize, we want to save ourselves. We want to save humanity. Our families, our children, everybody wants that. Every, every person, every colour, every nationality,” Bratlien said.

Cancer survivor undergoes double lung transplant after ‘sore throat’ takes sinister turn
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