Hélène Campbell will soon be breathing that fresh Barrhaven air.
The 21-year-old double lung transplant recipient got word from her doctors on Friday evening that she could come home. She had spent six months in Toronto, before and after her surgery.
Campbell tried to keep her trip home under wraps, but word quickly got out on Monday that she was already on the road.
“Today is the day,” Campbell told Metro from the road. “I’m very, very excited. It’s going to be nice to be home with friends and family and the city of Ottawa, who have been so supportive of this cause.”
Her organ donation awareness campaign went international earlier this year after Justin Bieber and Ellen Degeneres threw their support behind it. She has been undergoing physiotherapy and kept in close contact with her medical team in Toronto following her surgery on April 6.
As much as she was looking forward to finally coming home, she said it’s hard to leave behind the friends who are waiting for organ transplants.
“I’ve built a relationship with people on the wait-list and you want them to get it,” said Campbell. “It’s kind of a mixed feeling leaving those people behind.
“It gives you more of a reason to keep advocating for this cause.”
So what will Campbell do when she gets home?
She said she wants to see her friends, cook her a family a meal, and, of course, bust open a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
“I’m going to have to go through my room because it’s a complete disaster,” she said. “I kind of want to go to a movie.”
In the long-term, she wants to go brush up on her Spanish lessons and possibly go to university or college.
On Tuesday, she will be joined by her family at a press conference at the Government Conference Centre. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, MP for Nepean-Carleton Pierre Poilievre, and Hot 89.9 co-host Mauler are also scheduled to be at the press conference.
When asked if she will show off her signature “organ donation dance” on Tuesday, she replied, “absolutely.”