The gift of life: Living with new lungs

SCOPE BLOG | Stanford Medicine
When I mention to people that I had a double lung transplant, they usually react in one of two ways. They’re likely to say, “Wow, I’ve never met someone who’s had a lung transplant — that’s awesome,” or “Oh, I’m sorry.” The latter used to confuse me. Sorry, for what, I wondered — the fact that I have a second chance at life? Now I get a chuckle when I hear that and take the opportunity at sharing how amazing organ donation can be for both the recipient and the donor family.

I had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive lung disease that presented as an uncontrolled scarring of the lungs. There is no cure, and at the time no approved treatment options. I was left with the choice of visiting a transplant center and being screened for a very invasive and scary procedure, or letting the disease take its course. This was a much more difficult decision than those not facing it might think, but that’s a topic for another day.

My disease began with a relatively slow progression, but when it decided to move things along, things moved quickly. I was listed for a bilateral lung transplant on Nov. 4, 2014, and after one dry run, I received “the call” on Dec. 31. On the worst New Year’s Eve possible for them, my donor family made the decision to offer the gift of life to strangers who desperately needed it. They are always on my mind and in my thoughts. Continue reading

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Register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:   Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Nationwide:     Organ Donor | Donate Life America

To ensure your gift of life is honored, please share your decision with your family. At risk is the legacy you wish to leave.