About Kelly Johnson
With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. In Dudley, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of patients like local woman, Kelly Johnson.
Kelly is a 31 year old woman with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) who currently is a resident of Dudley, Ma. Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. The doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA have recommended she have a life-saving double lung transplant. An estimated $50,000 is being raised for COTA in honor of Kelly for costs related to transplant.
Kelly was diagnosed at 9 months with CF. Kelly is the daughter of Richard and Gale Martin of Dudley, MA. While growing up she was very active. She loved water skiing, snow skiing, snowmobiling and her dirt bike. When she started school she was like all the other kids, other than the daily medications and chest physical therapy that were required to manage her CF. And she was VERY social! In high school Kelly learned carpentry as a trade, before continuing on to college, where she achieved one of her greatest accomplishments. She completed the Paramedic program at Quinsigamond Community College. Kelly worked for Webster EMS for almost 8 years before her health declined. Until her mid twenties she was able to maintain a relatively normal life, not letting Cystic Fibrosis restrict what was important to her. Kelly always lived her life to the fullest and her health never deterred her from her goals. In July 2010, Kelly suffered a pneumothorax, which led to lung surgery. During the surgery, Kelly had complications and was placed in a medical coma for 28 days. Although doctors told the family this may not have a good outcome, the fighter in Kelly proved them wrong. After enduring a tracheotomy, 7 weeks in the hospital and dropping to 87 lbs., Kelly managed to gain control and went home to continue her rehabilitation. The fighter in her never complained. Today she is aggressively striving to keep her lung function above 20% and has been on a transplant list for almost 2 years. Kelly's next step in preparing for a double lung transplant was fundraising with COTA. COTA was chosen because they are a national 501c3 charitable organization, which ensures all direct donations to COTA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law, and 100% of the donations raised in honor of Kelly will go toward transplant related costs.