A Windsor woman struggling to breathe was forced to make a life-altering decision.

Hollie Leamont has lived her entire life with Cystic Fibrosis.  Last April, Leamont spoke with CTV Windsor  about waiting for a double-lung transplant.  She is now recovering after having surgery in January and sharing her inspiring story about her journey.

Breathing has always been an issue for Leamont, but eventually, even though she is strong-willed and determined, the suffering was too much.

Her will to go on and to keep fighting, started fading.

“I'd be sitting in bed, crying because I'm like, ‘I can’t do this.’ You want to give up,” says Leamont.

About a year ago, the 40-year old's lung capacity dropped to only 19 per cent. She often found herself gasping for air. She couldn't get out of bed and had stopped eating. She had no energy to do anything. 

“Under water suffocating and you want to get to the top and get that breath of air, that's how it is, how I found it,” she said.

To survive, she would need a double-lung transplant - a frightening reality, but also a new life.

“Getting a transplant was critical,” says Dr. Lianne Singer with the Lung Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital. “Her breathing was severely impaired. Her lung disease was having a major impact on her quality of life and was a major threat to her survival.”

Leamont recalls being faced with the decision.

“I've always said, I don't think I’ll do a transplant, but when faced with it, you have been told you won't live. You want to live and you'll do anything to live. That's why I signed. I wanted to get my lungs.”

Leamont was put on the lung transplant list and last June she moved closer to Toronto General Hospital, home to the world's leading lung transplant program.  And then she waited.

Six months later, she got the call she'll never forget. 

“Mom was blow drying my hair and the nurse came in and she said ‘we have some news for you,’” says Leamont. “I thought something is wrong and my aunt screamed and she said ‘We just got the call. They got lungs for you.’ I just, I didn't know what to do. I froze.”

Within 15 minutes, she was in an ambulance on her way to Toronto General Hospital. Fourteen hours later, she was on her way to the surgery room.

“They wheeled me away and I was thinking is this real?” says Leamont.

On Jan. 23, Leamont got her lungs. 

Watch CTV Windsor tomorrow for part two of Leamont’s story. We'll show you what it was like for her in the days after her surgery, what her life is like now and what the future holds.