The Sweetest Cystic Fibrosis Love Story Comes to a Close
Matt and Kaila Maartensz’s love story began when they first met as children at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Western Australia. Matt and Kaila were both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as infants and they had endure the burden of endless treatments and constant admissions to the hospital. Their health continued to deteriorate to the point where each struggled to breathe. While there is no cure for CF, Matt and Kaila received hope of living fairly normal lives when they were both given the gift of a new pair of lungs.
As a matter of fact, it was Kaila’s need for a lung transplant in 2012 that brought the couple together. She had lost a lot of weight and her doctors told her that she needs to put on weight in order to be qualified to undergo a lung transplant. She noticed that Matt had gained a lot of weight and so she asked him how he did it. He invited her out to lunch and from there, the rest is history.
Their relationship ultimately led to marriage
Matt stated that for a long time, he knew that Kaila was the right woman for him – ‘the one’. “She was different. There was no awkwardness or silent times. I could be myself and not be judged, just be loved,” he said. After Matt’s own transplant in 2014, his lung function had improved and so had his quality of life. Despite the couple’s never-ending battle with CF, their relationship blossomed throughout the years, leading Matt to propose. “I stepped back and went to call Matt when he opened the door, all dressed up and had rose petals over the floor and couch. He got down on one knee and I didn’t even let him finish proposing before I said yes,” said Kaila. In 2015, the two lovebirds got married in front of their closest family and friends. “Those who witnessed them marry in 2015 felt like they were part of the most miraculous love story ever told,” wrote Angela Terry, a friend.
Matt's health started to decline, and fast
In December of 2017, 29-year-old Matt was having difficulty breathing and he had to be admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. He underwent a bronchoscopy, which revealed that his lungs were inflamed, although his doctors could not determine how or why. He was told that there was nothing more that they could do for him and he only had a few weeks or months to live.
Matt’s lung capacity reached the point where he required constant care and so he and Kaila both stopped working to focus on his well-being. “It’s hard to comprehend that one day he was working a really busy, labor-intensive job and then he could barely walk to the toilet on his own,” said Kaila.