News Wise | Loyola University Heath System
Newswise — Judy Weimer, 53, was diagnosed with COPD, emphysema and bronchitis on New Year’s Eve in 2005 and received a double-lung transplant in 2009 at Loyola University Health System. “I named my new lungs Lucy and Ethel to welcome them," said the humorous and outgoing Chicagoan. "Lucy acts up once in a while but they are both working fine.”
Weimer now volunteers for Gift of Hope, the organ and tissue donor network, educating others and signing up potential donors. “Before my transplant I was in a wheelchair, hooked up to an oxygen tank 24/7. It took four hours for me to bathe myself,” she said. “Thanks to my donor, I now am back in life with my usual gusto and zest for life.”
Weimer says doctors attributed her disease largely to environmental conditions. “I grew up in the city of Chicago and rode my bike next to exhaust-spewing buses and trucks,” she says. “My five brothers worked as mechanics in the family business and I, too, grew up with my head under the hood repairing cars." Another shared family trait was smoking cigarettes. One brother,like Weimer, was diagnosed with COPD and emphysema.
Weimer is sharing her story at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital where she regularly volunteers to encourage donation of organs and tissue.
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