Woman still defying odds 15 years after double-lung transplant

Holly Kroeze, center, with her friends Dena Greeno, left, and Amy DeParsie at a party celebrating the 15-year anniversary her receiving a double-lung transplant. CALIXTRO ROMIAS/THE RECORD

STOCKTON — It wasn’t her own life that flashed before her eyes when Holly Kroeze was diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease that typically leads to cystic lung destruction and, ultimately, death. It was that of her 2-year-old son.

She imagined milestone moments in his life — his first date, his high school graduation, his wedding day — and wondered if she would live long enough to see them. The prognosis was not good. Doctors told Kroeze she had only five to 10 years to live.

“I was very afraid that I wasn’t going to see my son grow up,” she said.

Kroeze, 48, still is alive today because an organ donor made it possible for her to receive a double lung transplant on June 3, 2001. Kroeze said 50 percent of lung transplant patients die within eight years because their bodies eventually reject the harvested organs, but there she was on Saturday — 15 years later — flashing an infectious smile while greeting guests who came to her home to celebrate the anniversary of her lung transplant. Continue reading
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