At just 5 months old, NiQi During (27) was diagnosed with a terminal genetic illness called Cystic Fibrosis and abandoned by her mother and grandparents who could not afford to take care of her.
NiQi was blessed to be welcomed into a loving foster family, who she met while their son was battling the same condition. Sadly Mark (9) passed away just 4 years later.
When the only CF specialist left Pietermaritzburg, the family moved to Pretoria as Niqi’s health started to deteriorate. The move bought it’s own challenges when Niqi’s foster father was retrenched and struggled for a number of years to find a job, adding to the mountain of debt resulting from NiQi’s regular hospital visits.
When NiQi ‘s lung function reached 17%, doctors warned that she might only have 2 years left to live at only 21 years old. In an act of faith, she registered on the Organ Transplant Registry in hopes to find a donor to save her life.
It took 5 years for her to find a donor match and by that time the family had moved back to Pietermaritzburg, where NiQi chose to live out her last days.
In February last year, NiQi spent a total of 6 weeks in hospital after an intense 6 hour double lung transplant . She was finally discharged with her new lungs only to have a Pulmonary Embolism 4 days later and had to return to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. She also developed a bacteria in her lungs, Tachycardia Erythmia, which damaged her heart.
Despite the odds stacked against her, NiQi pulled through and enjoyed 10 months with her new lungs, but her optimism was unfortunately short lived. She has now gone into Chronic rejection as her body has become incompatible with her new lungs. This year alone she has spent 70 days in and out of intensive care.
Battling a severe medical condition has interrupted what should be NiQi’s most carefree years as a young adult. Unable to maintain a regular office job or working hours, she has set up a small design business called The Little Fox to support herself and cover her medical aid costs.
Porky’s People has created a campaign on donations based crowdfunding, platform, BackaBuddy in hopes to contribute R10 000 towards NiQi’s medical treatment so she can continue her fight against Cystic Fibrosis.
Support NiQi by donating here
*All funds generated by this campaign will be directly managed by BackaBuddy NPC and paid directly to NiQi’s medical practitioners.
If you are unable to donate, please share NiQi’s story with your networks.
Register as an organ donor here or call 0800 22 66 11 (toll free)