Young woman’s inspirational fight for life

Emily with husband David and, below, on her wedding day
Emily with husband David and, below, on her wedding day

Every telephone call is a potential lifeline for Emily Icke since she went on the transplant list in November last year.

Born with cystic fibrosis, a life limiting genetic condition affecting the lungs and digestive system, 23-year-old Emily is now on oxygen 24 hours a day.

Emily Icke, 23.

Emily Icke, 23.

From their home in Aylesbury her devoted husband David said: “I sleep very lightly and check her a lot. On occasions I’ve found her nasal tube has moved in the night and it’s resting on her forehead instead of her nose, so I have to check she’s breathing, shake her and put it back on her properly.”

The couple met five years ago when they both worked at Perrys in Aylesbury but Emily no longer works after a series of health scares.

In August 2011 she was rushed to hospital and stayed there for almost two months clinging to life, surrounded by her loving family.

David said: “She was semi conscious, attached to machines. All I remember seeing was that her oxygen levels were really low and the doctors were concerned she wouldn’t pull through.

“But they introduced a third, very strong antibiotic, and she has the fighting spirit and doesn’t like to give up. She found inner strength to battle.”

Indeed Emily, and her whole family, show incredible optimism and pull together continually to support one another, helping with housework, laundry, cooking and regular hospital appointments.

Her mother Sheila Elgie said: “Emily is very positive and bright and enjoys being in the garden and with her pets, going on Facebook, Twitter and her blog.”

Down her spine Emily has an inspirational tattoo with the words, ‘Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon’.

During Cystic Fibrosis Week she is encouraging everyone to sign the organ donor register. “Tell your loved ones your wishes, because it’s easier to talk about it now. Please don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here.”

Meanwhile, she waits for the call that will mean she can have a double lung transplant and return to a more normal life.