Local youth in need of double-lung transplant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Staff Report

Virginia Beach resident Martina Danielle Natoli, whose grandparents live in Suffolk, came into this world 13 years ago with a massive bowel obstruction, and underwent surgery when she was just six hours old. This was the beginning of the hold that cystic fibrosis would have on her life.

After three more surgeries and a three and a half months stay at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Martina beat the odds and came home. She fought for her first breath and continues to fight for each breath as she waits for a double-lung transplant. Her diseased lungs are caused from the thick mucus that engulfs them, making breathing labored and it is rapidly deteriorating her lungs, according to her grandmother Dee Shannon of Suffolk.

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The deadly mucus works its way through other systems as well. Her nutritional status is poor. Tube feedings are required to drip through the night with frequent vomiting due to her weak digestive system. Martina has been poked and probed all her life with countless hospitalizations and procedures. She has chronic infections that require IV antibiotics. To maximize her breathing she spends two hours a day in respiratory treatments, during which she is shaken by airway clearance vests and given

medications through breathing machines.

Volunteers are needed to assist with raising funds for Martina’s transplant-related expenses.

Individuals and groups interested in more information can contact campaign manager, Dee Shannon, at 986-3828 or Nancy Kinsey at 479-9563 or email MartinaBearable@aol.com

Money raised will pay for

Martina’s transplant related expenses and post-transplant care.

Donations can be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 COTA Dr., Bloomington, Ind. 47403.

Checks or money orders should be made payable to &uot;COTA for Martina Natoli.&uot;

Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.cota.org. Martina also has an account set up at Wachovia bank, account #300025418629.

Martina’s family has asked for assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, Bloomington, Ind., a national charity dedicated to organization and guiding families and communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients.

The organization’s priority is to assure that no child is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds.