Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

In Memory of: Kerry Alex Thorpe


Kerry Alex Thorpe Daily Mail article
Kerry Alex Thorpe Daily Mail article

I became ‘friends’ with Kerry on Facebook and followed her struggle with cystic fibrosis and her challenge to find new lungs. I learned yesterday that she passed away one week ago. Very sad news. RIP Kerry…

Mandy X

Recent news article on Kerry:

“With her blonde hair, flawless skin and penetrating blue eyes, Kerry Thorpe wouldn’t look out of place on a catwalk.

But the 20-year-old has more modest dreams – to marry her fiance and go about her day without struggling for breath.

Kerry has end-stage cystic fibrosis which has damaged her lungs beyond repair.

It means she won’t see her 22nd birthday unless she has a double lung transplant in time.

To encourage people to sign the donor register, the student, who lives in Kesgrave, Ipswich, is fronting a daring campaign.

Posters for the charity Live Life Then Give Life show Kerry in two sultry poses with the tongue-in-cheek question: ‘Would you give her one?’ and the statement: ‘I’d give you one.’

‘I want to try and make a difference,’ Kerry told MailOnline.

‘I know I’m only one person but if I can get a handful of people to sign the donor register, I will feel like I’ve accomplished something in life.’

Her lung function is currently at 20 percent which means she struggles to walk more than a few steps on her own.

‘I can’t climb stairs very well and I have to use my wheelchair if I have to walk anything further than a few metres.

‘I’m on oxygen overnight and need help washing my hair, getting dressed, cooking and so on.

‘That’s why my mum and fiance Josh are so important to me. They try to keep me positive and they are always full of encouragement and offer shoulders to cry on.

‘I cope with it all quite well as I try and keep my mind focused on a transplant. I also write a blog, which I enjoy as it shows there are still things I CAN do.’

Kerry needs a healthy body mass index (BMI) to go on the transplant list and is working hard to gain the needed weight.

‘My lungs burn up calories very quickly,’ she said. ‘I also have diabetes that wasn’t well-controlled in the past. I did weigh 5st but I’ve gone up to 6st 3lbs. I need to reach around 7st to go on the transplant list.’

Kerry said living with the genetic disease had not been too difficult until she hit her early teens.

‘I required frequent IV antibiotics and struggled with high school as I was in hospital for a fortnight every two to three months,’ she said.

‘I ended up doing my GCSE’s in hospital and my AS levels at home, due to my illness.

‘My health really went downhill when I was 17. It meant I went into hospital the day after my 18th birthday instead of going out and celebrating with my friends.’

Engaged: Karen says she hopes to marry Josh after having a lung transplant


Engaged: Karen says she hopes to marry Josh after having a lung transplant

Kerry started her A-levels but had to abandon her studies as her health deteriorated. She hopes to study psychology at university following a transplant. In the meantime she is focusing on raising awareness for organ donation.

Emily Thackray, Chief Executive of Live Life Then Give Life, said: ‘Kerry has been on the organ donor register since she was 16, so is featured as both a person in need and a potential organ donor.

‘Three people die every single day waiting for a transplant; it’s a shocking statistic that exists because there just aren’t enough people signed up to the organ donor register.

‘Whilst almost all of us would take an organ if we needed one, just 29 per cent of the UK population are on the organ donor register.’

Kerry says she hopes to marry Josh in the future but wants a wedding that ‘doesn’t involve using oxygen and perhaps my wheelchair’.

She would also like to visit New York one day. But her most fiercely-held dream is far more modest.

‘I’d love to be able to wake up every day and not to have to think about breathing. Not to have hours of treatment just to stop myself getting worse.

‘If I could just get up and go I’d be content.’ ”


Kerry Alex Thorpe Cystic Fibrosis
Kerry Alex Thorpe Cystic Fibrosis

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