Lung transplant gives singer a new voice

The Oxford Times: Diana Sanders Diana Sanders

A WOMAN who had her lungs replaced will be putting her new ones to good use in a concert this weekend.

Diana Sanders, from Headington, had a lifesaving lung and heart transplant 12 years ago, and after a long and difficult road to recovery, she has since been able to take up her new passion.

Dr Sanders, who is a psychologist, said: “I couldn’t speak, never mind sing – I could hardly get to the end of a sentence without gasping for air.

“I was waiting for the end of my life and listening to music was one of the things that kept me going. I love the big choral works, but being able to sing in them seemed an impossible dream.”

Now, her dream has come true several times over, as she prepares to perform in her 10th concert with the Summertown Choral Society.

Dr Sanders, 57, was born with a congenital heart condition, and would eventually become dependent on oxygen and a wheelchair.

But after the transplant in 2002 she found her singing voice. She said: “I had some singing lessons and my teacher encouraged me to go for it.”

Dr Sanders is now an alto singer in the 120-strong Summertown Choral Society.

And she has not forgotten her donor, a 31-year-old woman who died of a brain haemorrhage. She said: “I’ll be singing for my donor who gave me the gift of life.”

The Choral Society is performing Haydn and Purcell on Saturday at 8pm, at St Barnabas Church in Jericho.

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