Young woman whose life was saved by organ donation campaigns to get more people to sign up

Bernice Perry in her 20s-theme attire for the Transplant Troopers Calendar.

Bernice Perry in her 20s-theme attire for the Transplant Troopers Calendar. - Credit: Archant

In these photographs Bernice Perry looks the picture of health. It is hard to believe she was fighting for her life just two months ago.

Bernice with Jane Turton, owner of Scrumptious Tearooms.

Bernice with Jane Turton, owner of Scrumptious Tearooms. - Credit: Archant

In December, the 22-year-old had spent 15 months desperately waiting for a double lung transplant after her own lungs had been destroyed by cystic fibrosis.


- Credit: Archant

The majority of her time was spent attached to oxygen and it would be very rare to see her without her wheelchair.

But since being giving the best gift she could have asked for – “a second chance at life” – she is letting nothing hold her back.

Bernice was recently dressed to the nines and putting all of her new-found energy into a photo shoot, held at Scrumptious Tearooms in Great Dunmow and snapped by former Broadcast reporter and photographer Michael Boyton, for the cause that saved her life.

“I wouldn’t be here without my donor so I want to do everything I can to promote organ donation and show it is a good thing to do,” said Bernice.

“Before my transplant I would never have been able to take part in something likes this – I struggled to even leave the house. But I have been given a second chance and want to make sure I live life to the full for my donor.”

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The pictures were being taken for the Transplant Troopers Calendar 2015. The initiative has been organised by a group of transplant patients to raise money for organ donation awareness charity, Live Life Then Give Life.

Owner of Scrumptious Tearooms, Jane Turton, was happy to let the 1920s-themed shoot take place at the vintage-styled eatery on Market Place.

“It was really fun to be dressed up and I couldn’t have imagined a better location” added Bernice, who lives in Haverhill but has family connections in Dunmow. “I really want to say thank you to Jane and the photographer Michael for helping me.”

The calendar will be going on sale later this year and Bernice, who has one sister and three brothers, will be starring as the month of January.

It is hoped the calendar will raise awareness about organ donation.

Bernice said: “I never thought I would get my call. I just had to stay positive for my family and friends.

“Now I can make plans for the future – something I could never do before. Organ donation saved my life.