Justine Laymond became the first double lung transplantee to take part in the Clipper Race. She signed up for leg 8 (New York to UK) and wasn't sure what to expect...
Lungs went sailing cont 2
On arrival into Halifax (Nova Scotia) and mooring onto a pontoon, I saw my parents walking down. Confusion and a few double takes from me as when I said goodbye in NY – they were flying home. ‘Surprise’ and that it was!! It was a secret kept and I had no idea. I felt happy to be on land and knew only a few days here before the big Atlantic Ocean!
Before I left the UK, I had organised media work to raise awareness on Organ Donation and LAM disease (and obviously for Clipper itself). My next few days were a buzz of radio, newspaper & Television shows. I had no idea I would make front page news of their national newspaper and that people would recognise me and approach me in streets/restaurants. I felt overwhelmed and like a little celebrity. Well, time to get ready for the next part of the race to Ireland. This part filled me with fear, and the Atlantic scaring me the most. Again, time to wave goodbye and set sail into the unknown. I had no idea what was to face me and how I wanted to quit…..
It started with the most awful sea sickness, being bed bound for 3 days and not eating/barely drinking. I was lying in my bunk crying, unable to move through weakness and my stomach hurting from sickness. But, somehow I managed to turn a corner and slowly start to eat again. The watch systems I found harder this time, it was so cold. One night about 4am, I sat in the corner of the yacht and cried. I knew I was cold, my lungs hurt and my bones were shaking through. Is it game over for me? I knew I couldn’t continue and thought I would need go to hospital for rest and ivs.(intravenous medications).