Lung transplant candidate keeps upbeat attitude

Herald-Review | Alision Petty

Herald & Review, Jim Bowling Registered nurse Janice Parsons checks David Jensen’s blood pressure before he starts a pulmonary rehabilitation session at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

DECATUR – When she arrived for lunch with her former Mount Zion High School classmate, Lisa Gregg carried a bouquet of helium balloons.

At 54, David Jensen is a little older than the typical recipient of such a colorful gift. It also wasn’t his birthday. But the balloons were special because they signified his upcoming second chance at life through a double lung transplant.

Jensen had told Gregg, with whom he reconnected over Facebook after years out of touch, that he was looking forward to getting his “new balloons.”

It’s an example of the upbeat attitude with which Jensen speaks of his situation. He hopes one day to climb a mountain and beat the 22-year record for longest lung transplant survivor through Indiana University Health, where he is on the transplant waiting list.

“You have to have hope. You have to keep your hopes up; you have to know this is going to work,” he said. Continue reading