Helene Campbell back home in Ottawa
Published Monday, July 16, 2012 3:07PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 17, 2012 10:32AM EDT
She’s been tweeted by Justin Bieber, appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show (twice) and helped inspire a surge in organ donor registration.
Most importantly, Helene Campbell returned home to Ottawa on Monday with a new, healthy pair of lungs.
"I don't need my oxygen tank any more . . . I don't have the tube following me everywhere, I can do my dance," she said upon arriving home to a room full of friends. "It's pretty cool."
"It's a really nice feeling coming back, pulling into the streets knowing that she's with us and she's healthy," said her mother Manon Campbell. "That was such a joyful moment."
The 21-year-old Barrhaven woman left for Toronto in January to await a crucial double-lung transplant, which she got in April.
She’s now back in her home city, returning as a champion of the cause she said she took up for everyone who’s awaiting an organ transplant.
"I just realized the power of a transplant in a person, in a human; not just me but everyone I've met along this process," Helene said.
"I've come across a lot of patients or donor families who are just so appreciative about what we're doing, just spreading the word."
"It's just amazing to see the progress she's made," said her friend Jordan Haug. "It's a big relief to everyone to see her home and you can hang out with her, it's really sweet."
Campbell will appear at a special event Tuesday hosted by health minister Leona Aglukkaq.
She said she's looking forward to appearing on the Ellen show in the fall, going back to school and maybe writing a book about her journey.