|Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette Paul McGuinness of Avalon talks about his double lung transplant at Presbyterian Hospital 28 years ago.|
Knowing that fateful day someday would arrive, Paul McGuinness sat with his family as his doctor explained the life-and-death decision he faced. Neither option held much hope.
Continue with available cystic fibrosis treatments and he’d likely be dead within a year, with round-the-clock struggles to breathe. Or get an experimental double-lung transplant at UPMC with a 10 percent chance of living five years.
“The choice was to die or get a lung transplant, and, of course, I wanted to live longer,” said Mr. McGuinness, who chose the transplant. “If I didn’t make it, I’d help advance science.”
His double-lung transplant occurred Oct. 19, 1988 — 28 years ago. He not only beat the odds but also obliterated them and now is considered one of the longest surviving double-lung transplant patients with cystic fibrosis in the United States, if not the longest. Continue reading