A family is in “shock” after a dad who spent 33 days in an induced coma “miraculously” woke up just hours before his life support was due to be turned off — but the battle for his life is far from over.
Kyle Heeley admits he is “living on borrowed time” due to a “very rare condition” that could see him die “at potentially any moment” from even a minor infection.
The 36-year-old dad of two girls, aged 9 and 10, is in desperate need of a double lung transplant, his close friend Erin said on a fundraiser created to help him and his wife Jodiey, 33.
Kyle has Type 2 lung failure after suffering a severe infection brought on by complications with Bronchiectasis — a condition in which the airways in the lungs are damaged, causing them to become widened or develop pouches.
In his case, it is slowly narrowing the dad’s airways, filling them with carbon dioxide and ultimately “suffocating him from within his own lungs”, Erin explained on the GoFundMe page.
Doctor labels man an 'enigma'
In an incredibly rare twist that led one doctor to describe Kyle as an “enigma”, he was also born with a condition called XLA — a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce white blood cells, and therefore fight infections.
Tragically, this means that the immunosuppressive drugs the UK man will need for the double transplant could be very dangerous, and ultimately destroy his already failing immune system.
“I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t,” the dad said.
Dad in coma for 33 days
Since marrying Jodiey in July last year, Kyle has spent more time in the hospital than not, with the worst incident to date occurring just a few months ago when the 36-year-old suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing. He was then placed into an induced coma, which he stayed in for 33 days.
“During this time, the doctors said to prepare for the fact that he may likely die at any moment,” Erin said. “They later declared that he would be removed off life support should he not respond to doctors within 48 hours.
“Somehow, miraculously, he more than merely responded, he shocked us all by waking up fully, eyes open and using his own lungs with hours to spare before he would’ve been let go. However, he is now back in hospital again due to all of the aforementioned problems being forever present and worsening.”
'Facing an ultimate end'
In an interview with the Manchester Evening News, Jodiey said her husband “tries his best to be positive and make the most of what he has got while he has got it, and live life to the full".
“We don’t know what is round the corner as a family, each time he goes into hospital we are on pins,” she continued, adding that the response to the GoFundMe has been “quite overwhelming”. “But Kyle is extremely popular, he is bubbly and can’t sit still. He likes to give back and will help anyone, even in hospital he helps the elderly patients.”
Now “facing an ultimate end”, Erin said she decided to raise money for her long-time friend “so that Kyle can live and die knowing that he has helped provide for his family before he leaves us”.
“I’ve gotten to live with him, take trips and festivals together, see his daughter be born, witness him get married to his beautiful wife and becoming the adoptive father of her daughter, and now, regrettably, see him come to the end of his life whilst we're still only in our mid 30s,” the heartbroken friend wrote.
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