Selina Harding grew up in Brisbane. Her childhood was happy, but she battled serious health problems, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was three years old.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that damages the lungs, digestive tract and other organs.
Throughout her life she had multiple hospital admissions, mainly due to her lungs deteriorating.
Ever resilient, Selina attended school at Balmoral State High School and met her husband Wayne through friends when she was 15 and Wayne was 17 years old.
They have been together ever since.
The couple had a daughter when they were in their twenties, but Selina’s health deteriorated over time.
“I got by as best I could. I was still able to have a child which a lot of people with cystic fibrosis can’t have. So that was wonderful,” she said.
Eventually, at 40 years of age, Selina was on oxygen 24 hours a day and was put on a transplant list to replace her lungs.
At the time her daughter was 18 and helped Selina at home, while Wayne continued to work to support the family.
“Both of them are a massive support, I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Selina was on the transplant list for six months before the operation was undertaken in 2015.
“It is not a cure, you’re replacing it with other potential issues that can happen. But as far as I’m going it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
While she doesn’t know who her donor was, Selina is thankful every day for the gift she has been given.
She became emotional when speaking about the donation.
“You are able to find out rough age and gender if you like. But I’d prefer not to know.”
“It is hard to reconcile how you get your lungs. You’ve just got to think that was their wishes, they registered to become an organ donor.”
After the transplant Selina’s recovery went remarkably well and after three months she wanted to return to work.
A year to the day after her transplant, Selinda and her family moved to Beaudesert.
“When we wanted to buy our first house I wanted something with character, a little bit older, a nice size block and that’s exactly what we got in this town,” she said.
She began working for Furniture Court a month later, initially in sales and merchandising and now as Manager of the store.
She says Beaudesert still feels like a country town to her.
“It’s got that friendly country town vibe. You can walk down the street, not know who you’re passing and they say hello.”
“It’s such a friendly town, I really enjoy living here.”
Selina says people who want to donate their organs should talk to their family about their wishes.
Donate Life Thank You Day is 19 November.