Death of organ donor campaigner 'devastating'

2015-06-09 09:28
Organ donor campaigner Jenna Lowe. (Facebook)

Organ donor campaigner Jenna Lowe. (Facebook)

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Less than 1% of South Africa's population are organ donors

2014-12-08 08:38

Transplant candidate Jenna Lowe (20) speaks to us about the dire organ donation situation in South Africa. Less than 1% of the population are organ donors with around 4 500 South Africans waiting for organs. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg – Organ donor campaigner Jenna Lowe, who suffered from a rare lung disease and led an initiative to make it to her 21st birthday, has died.

“Absolutely devastated and heartsore at the loss of our Pulmonary Hypertension and Transplant ambassador, Jenna Lowe,” Rare Diseases SA said in a post on Facebook following her death on Monday.

“Jenna, your one wish was to be remembered and that we are sure you have achieved. Your bravery and perseverance will encourage us daily to be better,” the organisation said.

In 2012, aged 17, she was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, a degenerative, life-threatening condition, according to her website,

Her “Get me to 21” campaign was intended to encourage people to sign up to become organ donors and help her find a new pair of lungs. She received a double lung transplant on December 10, 2014.

“Hello everyone I’m finally getting there… eating, breathing, even slowly walking. Very soon I’ll be able to leave this ward,” she wrote in her last blog entry on February 26 this year.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare lung disease that causes the arteries and blood vessels in the lungs to narrow. This forces the heart to work harder to properly oxygenate the lungs, weakening it over time.

Signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension (PH) may include:

- Shortness of breath during routine activity, such as climbing two flights of stairs

- Tiredness

- Chest pain

- A racing heartbeat

- Pain on the upper right side of the abdomen

- Decreased appetite.

- Family and friends of Jenna Lowe are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for her, on her profile at

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

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