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ONTARIO: A double lung transplant saved Luc Robidas' life, but it also took his sight (5 photos)

And with surgery complications delaying their move back home, a new fundraising campaign has been started to help Luc and his wife Jen stay close to his doctors in Toronto

For Sudburian Luc Robidas, a double lung transplant was supposed to be a new lease on life.

Robidas, as you may remember, has cystic fibrosis

In the fall of 2017, he and his wife, Jen, had to uproot their lives in Greater Sudbury and move to downtown Toronto, where he would be close enough to Toronto General Hospital when a new set of lungs became available.

The good news: the double lung transplant was a success. But there's also bad new: Luc suffered two mini strokes during the procedure, causing blood and oxygen deprivation in his optic nerve. He is now blind. 

It is a “rare complication,” said Luc's wife, Jen, and he's adjusting to life as a blind man. 

Jen said doctors told her this has only happened a handful of times before. There is nothing further that can be done, she said, and they have accepted it and are moving forward. 

“The hardest part of it all is that Luc lost his independence, and that part is gut wrenching.” Jen said. “He no longer can bring himself to his appointments or go out for a stroll alone until he relearns how to navigate life blind.”

Compounding the problem, Luc suffered post-surgery complications in the form of a bone infection in his incision. He had to undergo a second procedure to remove bone and all the infection that had spread. It was a successful surgery, Jen said, but it comes with a heavy plate of other issues. 

“Luc he had his whole sternum removed due to the bone infection,” said Jen, in early May. “His chest is completely opened, like a shark bite.”

That happened after Luc was discharged from hospital at the beginning of May. There have been many ups and downs since then, but Jen said they are doing well, considering what they've been through.

“Every day has new challenges, but it’s getting better,” she said. “His chest is healing, and we are hoping that he doesn’t need an additional surgery to close that chest wound.” 

Unfortunately, the couple won't be coming home to Sudbury any time soon. They had planned to move back at the end of June, but have since canceled those plans.

“We are both heartbroken and should have known that things wouldn't go as planned,” Jen said.

“It's not realistic to move and have to travel for health care. So, we wait till Luc's chest wound heals and then decide when we can come home. We want to thank everyone for their kind words, loving support, and for helping financially. It all means so much to us both.”

Having to stay in Toronto a lot longer than they were expecting has brought on financial stress. As such, a new GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help them. The campaign is more than half way to its target of $10,000. 

You can visit the campaign here

Furthermore, a donation box has been set up at Changes Hair Studio, located at 428 Westmount Ave., to help give the couple a helping hand. A donation enters you into a draw for a chance to win one of three prizes: tickets to a Toronto Blue Jays game, a gift basket with $200 in gift cards, or a handmade quilt.

Luc and Jen are grateful for the support.

“We want to thank everyone for their kind words, loving support, and for helping financially,” she said. “It all means so much to us both.”


Arron Pickard

About the Author: Arron Pickard

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