Cystic fibrosis activist Claire Wineland dies aged 21 after double lung transplant

Cystic fibrosis activist Claire Wineland dies aged 21 after double lung transplant
Claire Wineland was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth
Claire Wineland was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth

(SKY NEWS) – YouTube star and activist Claire Wineland – who battled with cystic fibrosis – has died after receiving a lung transplant.

The 21-year-old’s health deteriorated as she suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot, about a week after she was approved for a double lung transplant.

The American, who amassed more than 250,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, died on Sunday in hospital surrounded by family.

On Facebook, the chairman of Claire’s Place Foundation, Laura McHolm, said: “Our inspirational founder passed away. She was not in any pain and the medical staff said it was the most peaceful passing they had ever witnessed.

“She was surrounded by love and with her mother Melissa Yeager and father John Wineland; they saw her into this world for her first breath and were with her for her last.”

She said Wineland suffered a stroke on 26 August despite a successful transplant. A week of “various life-saving procedures” followed but doctors were unable to save the social media sensation.

The stroke caused blood circulation to the right side of her brain to be cut off and she was placed in a medically induced coma.

Her family later decided to take the vlogger, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, off life support.

According to CNN, Wineland told her parents when she was 18 that she did not want a lung transplant but changed her mind earlier this year, when her health drastically declined.

Before going into surgery, Wineland – also an organ donor – tweeted: “It’s a GO!!! See y’all on [the] other side.”

Ms McHolm said Wineland was “loved all over the world” and a “red hot spark of inspiration and joy”.

“Your prayers, support and encouraging words, have been a huge source of strength for her and her family,” she said. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your massive amazing out pouring of love.

“We are asking to please give the family privacy at this time. They have so generously shared their lovely Claire’s remarkable journey with us all, but now is the time to give them some peace from the public spotlight.”

She added: “In the words of our precious founder Claire Wineland: ‘Death is Inevitable. Living a life we can be proud of is something we can control.'”

Among those paying tribute on Twitter were fellow YouTubers Shane Dawson, who said his “heart hurts so bad”, and Casey Neistat, who called her “truly one of the greats”.

Politician Bernie Sanders added: “You are an inspiration and brought joy to many. You’ll be missed deeply.”


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