After a double lung transplant — and dying on the operating table — a Gulf War veteran returns to running

THE NATIONAL POST | CANADA | Joe O'Connor
After a double-lung transplant, Kenny Douglas is two weeks out from running his first race — a 10K — in 20 years
Kenny Douglas used to dream about his last race during the darkest period of his illness, when the walls were closing in, when his muscles had withered away to nothing and his ruined lungs were in such advanced decline that the simple act of standing left him gasping for air.

In the dream, Douglas would be running fast and breathing easy, barreling down a Welsh mountainside as a competitor in an iconic 32 km peaks race in Wales’ Snowdonia National Park. It was the first Saturday of June 1996. Mists hung heavy over the mountains. Douglas was an army captain with the Royal Scots regiment, a veteran of the First Gulf War and a young man, in his late twenties, in peak form.

“That race would come to me in my dreams when I was really struggling,” Douglas says from his Ottawa home. “I would have that feeling when you are a runner — when you get to that happy state — and you are just cruising.

“It is such a lovely feeling — and I would be doing that in my dreams. It would take a few seconds after I woke up to realize that it was only a dream.” Continue reading

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