Husband's Desperate Plea To Save His Wife

By Tony Shin
|  Saturday, Jun 4, 2011  |  Updated 10:46 AM PDT
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North County woman needs a double lung transplant within two weeks.

North County woman needs a double lung transplant within two weeks.

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Oceanside resident Philip Howell loves his wife Katrina more than anything in the world.

"She's my best friend," Howell said. "She''ll bend over backwards for anybody."

He knows exactly what Katrina is going through, as she struggles to breathe with a ventilator at Thornton Hospital in La Jolla, because he's been there before.

Due to cystic fibrosis, he's undergone a bi-lateral lung transplant.

Katrina also has the same inherited disease that causes a person's lungs to fill with a sticky mucus.

The disease is deadly unless a person gets a lung transplant.

It's killing Katrina, and she has only about two weeks to find a living donor before it's too late.

"You have five lobes in your lungs, and we need two donors," Howell said. "You can donate one lobe, and she will get both lobes, then she will be able to breathe practically almost normal."

Right now, Katrina has one donor but she needs one more.

Finding a donor is difficult for Katrina because she has a rare blood issue that makes her compatible with only 17 percent of the population.

Donors for Katrina must meet certain qualifications.

They have to be at least 5 feet 9 inches or taller, age 18 to 55, with the blood type "A" or "O."

DNA testing is also necessary to find a good match.

All it takes is a cotton swab in the mouth to get a sample.

Anyone who meets these requirements and wants to donate can call (760) 579-8275 for John Pohlman, Katrina's father.

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