Holbrook woman meets mother of her double-lung transplant donor

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — It was a tender moment four years in the making.

“She truly, she saved my life. I was on death’s doorstep four years ago,” said Patty Furey of Holbrook.

The 43-year-old suffers from cystic fibrosis. When she was a toddler, her parents were told Patty probably wouldn’t live past 13. In 2017, Patty received a lifesaving double-lung transplant. The donor was Chelsey Godsey, a 21-year-old woman from Maryland.

“She explained that, if she was to pass, that whatever they could use would go to someone else that could live, she was special and she still is special,” said Chelsey’s mother, Tammy Godsey.

Tammy Godsey met Patty for the first time in an emotional meeting last month on a beautiful sun-kissed afternoon in Gloucester. Using a stethoscope, Tammy was even able to listen to her daughter’s lungs working.

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“How does she sound? Tammy, what do you hear?” Patty asked.

“It was amazing. It was an experience I know I will never have again, but I definitely, definitely felt Chelsey there that day,” Tammy said.

Patty can now run and work out, something she was never able to do prior to her transplant surgery. Four years ago, her condition was so dire doctors told her family there was nothing more they could do and Patty would probably pass away in the next 24 to 48 hours. Patty was even given her last rites.

“Chelsey, even though I never got to meet her, she was my instant hero. She saved my life like no one else in the entire world could have,” she said.

Chelsey donated all her major organs. Her parents said, in death, her daughter touched more than 200 people through tissue, skin and cornea donations.

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