One year on: Emily living life to the full after life-saving double lung transplant

Surprise party for Emily Icke, one year after her double lung transplant, held at Pitstone Memorial Hall - Emily is pictured centre with partner David and family members
Surprise party for Emily Icke, one year after her double lung transplant, held at Pitstone Memorial Hall - Emily is pictured centre with partner David and family members

A cystic fibrosis sufferer who underwent a double lung transplant is celebrating a whole year since her life-saving operation.

This time last year Emily Icke, 25, was desperately ill and struggling to breathe when she was finally told the news that a pair of healthy donor lungs had been found for her.

And thanks to the successful operation she was well enough to celebrate with family and friends at a surprise party thrown by her husband David, 29, on Saturday night.

Around 100 people danced the night away at Pitstone Memorial Hall – including Emily’s family from Devon and Scotland – at the party which took husband David five months to organise.

Emily, who is planning to go back to her volunteer job at the RSPCA Blackberry Farm centre next week, said she had no idea that David had organised the party.

She said: “My brother picked me up and said we were going for a family meal, but then we turned up at the hall and I saw my dad’s car and our car, and I thought ‘what’s going on?’

“It was a massive surprise, and it was so nice to have all my loved ones under one roof.

“I want to say a huge thank you to David for his time and effort and all those who came to celebrate with me.”

During the night there was a charity auction and raffle to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis charity, Live Life Give Life and the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity – where Emily underwent her transplant.

Emily, who lives in Buckingham Park, Aylesbury, with David, said: “We’ve raised £1,300 so far and we’re still counting.

“I want to say thank you to all those who donated raffle and auction prizes.”

Emily was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just 18 months old, a genetic disease in which the lungs and digestive system become clogged with mucus.

The 25 year old had to have regular medication and physiotherapy to clear the blockages and was more prone to chest infections, meaning regular stays in hospital and sessions on an oxygen machine.

Now, she is able to do everything a young woman her age takes for granted – riding a bike, climbing a set of stairs and driving her car.

Emily’s story has been featured in both Pick Me Up and Reveal magazines – the latter in which she modelled the latest fashions in a professional photo shoot.