LUNG TRANSPLANT: Cornwall woman undergoes successful surgery in Toronto

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From left are Alice and Shannon Ferguson.

CORNWALL, Ontario - A Cornwall woman has undergone a successful double-lung transplant in Toronto and there's hope a machine helping her to breathe will be disconnected today.

Alice Ferguson underwent the surgery Sunday in Toronto.

Ferguson was diagnosed in March 2012 with chronic hypertension pulmonary fibrosis. In short, the elasticity of her lungs was failing, which led to shortness of breath and other medical complications that ultimately had doctors determine her best course of treatment would be a transplant.

"They're saying she is stable and all her vitals are great," said Ferguson's daughter Shannon, who flew from her home in Calgary to be at her mom's side. "They're hoping to take the breathing tube out today."

Last year fundraisers were held in Cornwall for Ferguson, who is well-known throughout the city for her volunteer work and time as a businessperson.

She spent the better part of a year living in a Toronto apartment waiting for a call from doctors, in the event lungs became available.

That call came at 3 a.m. Sunday. By 11 a.m. she was being wheeled into the operating room for a surgery that would last nine hours.

Shannon said her mom is alert, but unable to speak because of the breathing tube. That being said, the two are still able to communicate.

"I've been telling her I want to get her out to Calgary so she can do my laundry for me," she laughed. "She can't actually laugh, but I can tell in her head she is laughing."

If all goes well Ferguson will spend the next three weeks in intensive care before beginning a regimen of therapy to build up her strength. She will have to remain in Toronto during that time.

Following that she will have to continue to see doctors regularly over the course of several months.

It's the second transplant in less than a week for a Cornwall resident. Last week Kim MacLennan, a Cornwall teacher, underwent a successful liver transplant.

Geographic location: Cornwall, Toronto, Calgary Ontario

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