This is Plymouth
AN INSPIRATIONAL 20-year-old has been given around a year to live unless he receives a double lung transplant.
Award-winning fundraiser Jon-Paul Oxley has been on the waiting list for the lifesaving operation for 17 months.
He needs oxygen therapy 24 hours a day, uses a wheelchair when leaving the house and has been in hospital eight times this year alone.
Jon-Paul, of Plympton, who is also a well-known youth football referee, told his story to back a campaign urging more people to join the NHS organ donor register.
Individuals who sign up are pledging to donate their organs and tissue after their death – which can save several lives.
The telephone call to tell Jon-Paul that lungs have become available has come four times.
Each time he has travelled by ambulance to the specialist Harefield Hospital transplant centre in Middlesex only to find the organs were not viable.
He has defied the odds since he was a child, when doctors did not expect him to live beyond the age of three.
"A transplant would save my life, and change it considerably," said Jon-Paul. "I will still have CF but it would not be so severe, so violent.
"It will help me do the things I can't do now. One of my dreams is to run around and keep up with my 20-month-old nephew Jack, to keep up with him and play football with him."
He said his mum describes the nerve-wracking wait for the call as like "sleeping on a tinderbox".
"My bags are packed and we go to bed with our mobile phones, just waiting for that call," he said.
"My motto is: be positive. Just bring on the next call, it could come at any second.
"I don't think about 'if' it will come, I keep saying 'the call will come', otherwise I would go crazy."
Jon-Paul's mum Jill Oxley, a childminder, said her son's "incredible" attitude is an inspiration.