- Natalie McCusker, 18, from Greater Manchester is battling cystic fibrosis
- She got four As and a B in her AS-levels while waiting for a lung transplant
- MP Kate Green has now joined forces with Miss McCuster to fight for better care and shorter waiting times for transplant patients in the north west
By ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD
PUBLISHED: 11:29 EST, 4 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:21 EST, 4 September 2013
An inspirational teenager is celebrating top exam grades after doing lessons via Skype as she battled a life-threatening illness.
Natalie McCusker, 18, is starting the second year of sixth form just six weeks after a lung transplant to help in her fight against cystic fibrosis.
The teenager, from Stretford, got four As and a B in her AS-levels despite being left housebound and hooked up to an oxygen ventilator as she waited 19 months for the transplant.
Natalie McCusker has been the recipient of a double-lung transplant, after three years on the waiting list. Despite her illness she managed to pass her exams through taking part in lessons at school via Skype
Miss McCusker, who goes to Loreto Grammar School in Altrincham, said: ‘Skype was brilliant – I was able to see the teachers and they could see me even when I was checking my phone or when my cat jumped on my bed.
‘Now thinking about the operation it feels like it all happened to someone else.
‘I sometimes think I can’t believe that someone was willing to donate their organs – it’s changed my life.
‘Before I was bed-ridden and was on an oxygen ventilator for 24 hours a day. Now I’m more independent and am able to go out and see my friends.’
Natalie McCusker (right) has joined forces with MP Kate Green (left) to fight for better care for transplant patients. Figures show patients in the north west have some of the longest waiting times for a transplant
Although there is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis, where the lungs and digestive system become congested, it is hoped the transplant will help Miss McCusker’s live as normal a life as possible.
Kate Green (right) plans for Natalie McCusker (left) to join her in Parliament to discuss changes in the law with top health ministers
She hopes to complete her A-levels before going on to university to study classics or ancient history.
Her mum Geraldine added: ‘I feel like I’ve got my daughter back.’
Jane Beever, headteacher at Loreto Grammar School, said: ‘Natalie deserves high praise for her AS Level success.
‘It has been a pleasure to facilitate her academic needs via Skype. We are thrilled that she is now well enough to be back in the classroom to continue her studies.
‘She is a true example of hard work and commitment and we are proud of her.’
Miss McCusker has joined forces with Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green to fight for better care for transplant patients.
Figures show patients in the north west have some of the longest waiting times in the country for a transplant – and are more likely to die while on the list.
Ms Green now plans for Miss McCusker to join her in Parliament to discuss changes in the law with top health ministers, after she raised the issue in a debate in the House of Commons last month.