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Woman needs lung transplant after contracting life-threatening disease from mould in apartment
Featured Image Credit: Shanda Johnson/Facebook / GoFundMe

Woman needs lung transplant after contracting life-threatening disease from mould in apartment

Dr Shanda Johnson is appealing for help to fund her medical costs after needing new lungs due to mould exposure

Many of us have encountered a case or two of mould in our homes, but how dangerous could it be?

Well, one woman has had the unfortunate experience of finding out after it caused her to desperately need a lung transplant.

Dr Shanda Johnson is a nurse practitioner, professor and mother who began experiencing strange bouts of breathing issues in 2019.

In a GoFundMe page set up to help her with raising funds for her medical bills, it describes Johnson as having ‘dedicated her entire life to helping others.’

But now, she’s the one in need of major help.

After managing her asthma with medications, it soon became clear that she would need to be seen at a hospital due to prolonged attacks.

Dr Shanda Johnson is in desperate need of a lung transplant after contracting an illness from mould exposure.

This is what led the discovery that Johnson had contracted a serious disease due to mould exposure, called Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.

According to the American Lung Association, Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis develops after numerous or continuous exposures to small amounts of an allergen, and symptoms include shortness of breath, tiredness, coughing that lasts weeks or months and weight loss that gets progressively worse.

After this shocking discovery, the advanced pulmonary care team at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center did the best they could until Johnson moved to the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

With a life expectancy of up to seven years, a lung transplant is in dire need to prolong her life, as she continues to carry around an oxygen tank everywhere she goes.

Mould can be deadly if exposed for prolonged periods of time.

Now at the top of the transplant list, Johnson is in the later stages of her condition and five years after being initially diagnosed with the lung disease.

Due to the severity of the progression, the nurse practitioner is unable to go home and is currently residing in hospital for continued management of her breathing attacks.

Her GoFundMe page reads: “For those close to Shanda, they know that she opens her wallet for any and every one when she can. Now, it’s time for us to pay it forward.”

“The financial demands of this transplant are monumental. While Shanda is pushing through to work now, the time will come when she must step aside to prioritize her health.

Johnson was diagnosed with Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.
Facebook/Shanda Johnson

"That decision will impact her insurance coverage and support of her post-transplant medications.”

“Additionally, she must continue to supplement her son’s tuition in an effort to keep his life and routine as normal as possible.”

“Lastly, this unexpected hospital stays, and abrupt relocation has also presented a financial challenge.”

At the time of writing, Johnson’s GoFundMe page was at $59,671 raised of the $125,000 target.

Topics: Health, US News