The Commercial Appeal | Jody Callahan
Tom Montgomery noticed that it was getting more and more difficult to breathe.
This was back in 2003, and shortly afterward, the West Memphian was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.
He received treatments, but they didn't work. He was forced to lug a huge tank of oxygen with him wherever he went. He was on oxygen all day, even when he was asleep.
Finally, on July 28, 2007, he received a double lung transplant. Today, he's not nearly as healthy as he was 10 years ago.
But he's alive.
"I can still enjoy my grandchildren," the 64-year-old said. "I have a total of seven grandchildren. Four of them I wouldn't have seen if I didn't have the transplant."
At the Levitt Shell in Overton Park on Sunday, hundreds of families gathered for the sixth annual Linking Hands for Life, sponsored by the Mid-South Transplant Foundation.