Brandon is drumming up new life
NOT only is Raceview teenager Brandon Sanewski breathing a lot easier since a double lung transplant saved his life a year ago, but he is also free to chase his passion in life.
The 19-year-old was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis as a baby and increasingly struggled with associated health problems as he matured.
By the time he'd reached the age of 18, Brandon had lost 70 per cent of his lung function and was struggling with normal daily activities.
This included his favourite pastime - playing the drums - which left him feeling depressed as well as dying.
"I couldn't breathe. The doctors told me that I had the lungs of someone who had been suffering CF for 30 years," Brandon said.
Brandon's mum Tracey recalled how the mucus that had taken over her son's lungs was causing him to cough 24 hours a day.
"The mucus is that thick in the lungs that it affects the digestive system and the body is unable to digest fat," she said.
"Before his transplant, Brandon had stopped eating and required a machine to breathe."
Brandon finally joined the transplant register on Christmas Eve, 2010, but would receive two crushing false alarms and almost die before getting a lifeline in May last year.
Doctors at the Prince Charles Hospital placed Brandon on the 48-hour nationwide alert for a transplant and a matching pair of lungs was found the next day.
"I remember waking up from surgery... mum was about the most excited I had ever heard her and she said, 'You've got your new lungs!'," he said.
Brandon's health was so much better for the double lung transplant that he was able to get back into playing the drums and this year he joined his new band, "Payne Rd".
Brandon and the band will be part of the "Breathe Easy" all-ages concert - organised by his family to raise funds for the Prince Charles Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Unit and the Queensland Lung Transplant Research Centre.
Breathe Easy gig
To be held at Ipswich CWA Hall on May 26 from 5pm
Bands include Payne Rd, Awaken I Am, Dollarosa, The Break of Dawn and Ryan Dingle
Entry $5, all proceeds go to the PCH CF Unit and the Lung Transplant Research Centre