Sunday, July 5, 2015

Breath of life

Orange County Register | Denisse Salazar

Julie Hancock of Placentia, center, received the first lung transplant ever performed at UCLA Medical Center 25 years ago. Today, she is still going strong and feels blessed to be able to live out her life with her family. She is pictured with husband Dan Hancock, top center, son Daniel Hancock, top row, second from left, daughter-in-law, Emily Hancock, far left, grandchildren Teddy Hancock, 15 months, Jackson Hancock, 4, daughter Shannon Powers, holding Hannah Powers, 9 months, son in law, Josh Powers, far right, grandchildren Bethany Powers, 9, and Keilah Powers, 6, bottom right.

Placentia’s Julie Hancock feels like she’s won the lottery − twice.

Hancock received the first lung transplant ever performed at UCLA Medical Center 25 years ago. She had had primary pulmonary hypertension, a rare lung disease that leads to narrowing of the blood vessels of the lungs.

Since then, UCLA has performed nearly 900 lung transplants.

Just eight months earlier, the married mother of two young children who lived in Yorba Linda at the time was rushed to Kaiser Medical Center in Anaheim.

“One day I felt really light-headed and was out,” Hancock said. “My son heard me fall and came upstairs, shook me and finally got me back.”

That son, Daniel Hancock, was nine years old when he found his mother in a pool of blood.

“In my child head, I didn’t realize the magnitude of what was going on,” Daniel Hancock, now 34, said. “Nobody did.” Continue reading

 

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