“What Can I Eat Now?” Find Out Thanks to This Cystic Fibrosis Patient

A young woman in Cambridgeshire received a trailblazing double lung transplant. Now she’s started a Kickstarter campaign to publish a book to help other people in similar situations, their friends and family and to raise money for two charities close to her heart and experiences; Papworth Hospital Trust and The Brompton Hospital Trust. Her name is Pippa Kent. She’s 28 and needed the surgery to treat her lung condition, cystic fibrosis. Keep reading to learn more about her story, or visit the original source for additional details.

Pippa Kent’s battle with cystic fibrosis began at birth. She underwent a major surgery at the Royal Papworth Hospital in 2017, in which surgeons replaced both of Pippa’s lungs. The procedure saved her life, and Pippa is incredibly grateful to both the donors and the medical team.

After her surgery, Pippa was not yet in the clear. She suffered from a type of cancer which doctors believe came on as a result of her transplant. Although it was a tough blow, Pippa survived it as well, and is now getting back in the swing of living her new type of normal life.

As she adjusts to the changes, her goal to make sure that her battle will produce some degree of good.

Before doctors decided to recommend surgery for Pippa, the situation was dire. She suffered several severe chest infections, which antibiotics failed to clear up. Before the operation she needed oxygen and breathing devices just to make it from one room of her home to the other. The surgery occurred suddenly, after Pippa had spent some time on the transplant list.

Doctors called her at 5pm on April 14th last year and asked her to be there in an hour. Around 10:30pm she entered surgery.

Pippa’s idea for a book occurred about three months after her operation. She says she is grateful to her donor, who she knows very little about. She thinks of the donor often and is determine to make the most of the second chance at life the donor gave her. Nonetheless, she found herself unhappy during recovery.

That’s when she realized the lack of information present about immune support options in food. Because of her health concerns, she is now limited to a very restricted diet, but she wanted to find a way to stay healthy while still enjoying food. She began reaching out to chefs almost immediately.

With the help of a group of celebrity chefs, Pippa began writing a cook book. Entitled “Now What Can I Eat?” the book aims to specifically assist patients recovering from transplants, or living with a series of other conditions. Patients of transplant surgeries often undertake strict diets to maintain their health.

“Once I started looking into the issue and limitations I soon realised that, in fact, the diet that I was now restricted to was not simply for those who had received transplants,” Pippa explains.

“There are thousands of people in the UK alone who are dealing with taking immune suppressants every day and so are restricted by the same dietary rules. This includes anyone who has had an organ transplant, many people undergoing chemotherapy, those who have Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases, as well as other conditions.”

Pippa sees this book as an opportunity to help people like her enjoy life a little bit more once again. She describes this as an important step for herself and other patients.

“It was important to get back to living a normal life,” she says. “You can’t live in a bubble.”

But when they don’t have help, that is what many transplant patients must do. They cannot eat foods like rare meat, runny eggs, certain cheeses, or improperly handled vegetables. Pippa doesn’t want transplants to remove the joy of cooking or eating from people’s lives. She continues to work with a team of chefs and dietitians to ensure the recipes are safe and of the finest quality.

If you would like to donate to her kickstarter, you can do so here. You can also check out her blog here, or follow @nowwhatcanieat on social media.

To find out more about CF, check out our partners Cystic Life and Strawfie Challenge.

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