As a child growing up with cystic fibrosis (CF) -- a genetic condition that affects the lungs and other organs -- Aimee Driscoll knew she’d likely need a lung transplant someday. She started researching transplant programs while she was still in her teens. “Duke was one of my top choices,” she said. “I saw they had a CF-specific program, so I was pretty excited.”
But Driscoll was born and raised in Maine. She got married, had a child, and built her life there. When it came time for her to be placed on a transplant waiting list, Driscoll -- then in her late 20s -- chose a health system in New England so she could be closer to her tight-knit circle of family and friends.
As it turned out, Driscoll’s lungs couldn’t wait. Before donor organs could be found, she was admitted to a local hospital with one of the frequent lung infections caused by CF. Her condition worsened rapidly. “I was basically on my deathbed,” she said. Her doctors in Maine put her into a medically induced coma and on a ventilator to support her breathing. Then her cystic fibrosis doctor called Duke.