ALISON BATTISTUZZI has two new lungs.
"I can breathe," she said over and over again.
After sitting on the transplant waiting list for nine months, and two calls about possible lung matches, it was on Monday, August 27 when she received her third call.
Staying in Brisbane, near the Prince Alfred Hospital with husband Andrew and son, 12-year-old Dominic Battistuzzi, their home in Yorklea seemed a long way away.
Even when she had the call, Alison couldn't get her hopes up.
"You get to the hospital and wait, and wait," she said.
Once doctors discovered the lungs were a match, "it was a goer", Alison said.
On Tuesday at 5.30am, the operation to replace Alison's lungs, worn out by cystic fibrosis, began.
For six-and-a-half hours doctors operated. Alison's chest was cut open down the sternum.
The successful double lung transplant has changed Alison's life.
"I can breathe," she said again. "I can walk without a struggle, and I don't need oxygen any more."
Alison will be on medication for the rest of her life so her body doesn't reject the 'new' lungs. She can't eat takeaway and meat has to be well cooked and all tank water has to be filtered and boiled.
Without the generosity of the Casino community, family and friends Alison couldn't have got through the long wait. She singled out Tibby Poulsen, "she's a darling", Alison said.
Fosfit Health Centre helped with fundraising and the Casino Meatworks have been a great support to the family, Alison said.
It will be two more weeks before the Battistuzzi family return home to Yorklea.
Alison's go fund me page is still running as they continue to face future expenses.