Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Article that was in the Sunday Independant... bit about me anyway...

Alice Vosloo's experience of the world has been very different to most. Up until recently Vosloo suffered from cystic fibrosis, a terminal lung disease. In early 2006 her health took a turn for the worse. Struggling to breathe she needed to use a portable oxygen tank, a large cumbersome contraption that made it impractical for her to leave the house. She turned to the internet for refuge; online she could satiate her need to socialise and interact. While surfing the net she connected with others who suffered from cystic fibrosis and learnt that she could prolong her life with a lung transplant. Although she had few options left, Vosloo was reticent about undergoing the surgery; only one other person in South Africa had survived after the operation, the others had perished. Around this time, Vosloo stumbled across a blog written by a girl who had undergone the surgery elsewhere."She had started her blog two years before her lung transplant. I was bored at the time, stuck at home and I couldn't get enough of her blog. I sat and read it for days."Vosloo felt inspired by this blog, she knew exactly what to expect and now felt comfortable to go ahead with the surgery, and decided to blog about her experiences too. So in November last year she began her blog, titling it "Living Life Breathlessly", accompanied by a blurb which read: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."Vosloo's posts relayed all the mundane details of her life and how she coped with dragging a portable oxygen tank around with her and, of course, the wait for a new pair of lungs.Initially she had envisaged that the blog would keep friends and family up-to-date with her health. But soon Vosloo's blog started to attract strangers too."It is quite different to a diary, other people can read it, which is not always so nice, you can't bitch about your ex-boyfriend, because he can read what you have written."Essentially Vosloo initiated her blog to document the trials and tribulations of a cystic fibrosis sufferer facing a lung transplant.When a pair of lungs was found for Vosloo, the content on her blog shifted, articulating her anxieties with the surgery."It felt therapeutic to write it all down," observes the 24 year old.Eventually, the day of her surgery arrived and, by that stage, Vosloo had garnered quite a substantial fan club."On the day of the transplant people had posted more than 96 comments. It was really nice to know that so many people were thinking about me and praying for me."Unable to blog for weeks after her operation, Vosloo roped in her sister and a friend to keep up the daily posts, documenting her slow recovery."It was so interesting to read later on, because I didn't remember anything that was happening during that time."Once Vosloo was able to resume blogging, she wrote about all the difficulties she was experiencing and received feedback from those who had been in the same predicament."They could really sympathise with what I was going through. I was really struggling to sleep because of the steroids they had put me on but I got messages from people telling me not to worry that they had also gone through the same thing and it wouldn't last. A doctor can't tell you that because he hasn't had a transplant."Vosloo's transplant was a success but she plans to continue with her blog. There might be complications further down the line and Vosloo wants them to be documented. She also wants other people to know that she has flourished despite the hardships she has been through.

2 comments:

MilePost13 said...

Good job!!!

Hanlie said...

Nice! I've only been reading for a few weeks, so it's nice to have more background.

You're an inspiration, girl!