Certified Pre-Owned: Neil Herskowitz’s Fight for a 2nd Chance

DALLAS MAVERICKS | Dwain Price

DALLAS – After the numerous life-threatening challenges he’s experienced, Neil Herskowitz can truly appreciate some of the most mundane things in life.

Things like taking a simple shower. Or being stuck in rush-hour traffic.

As a double lung transplant recipient following a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis, Herskowitz recalls the times when taking a shower was a major task. Or when being able to get behind the wheel of a car was not a part of his daily routine.

“I think, at least in my experience, every day I wake up and even when I can take a shower without being out of breath, that’s a win,” Herskowitz said. “So if I’m sitting in traffic or I spill my coffee all over myself, I don’t really care. It doesn’t bother me. Nobody wants to sit in traffic. But I usually think that, ‘Man, this is pretty cool that I’m even here, that I’m driving a car.'”

For nearly two years, Herskowitz had to carry a portable oxygen tank to his job – he’s the assistant equipment manager for the Dallas Mavericks – just so he could breathe. It was his mode of survival, his fight against the inherited life-threatening disorder that caused havoc in his life.

“I had a big oxygen tank at home that looked like a big trash can, and I had that portable one I would fill up and basically connect off of the big one,” Herskowitz said. “For a lot of reasons it was not an ideal situation.

“It wasn’t very user-friendly, it was bulky, it was hard to move around and it only lasted like six hours. So it seemed like by the time I could make it down to (American Airlines Center) and be there for a little bit, I had to kind of start getting back home because the oxygen was going to run out.” Continue reading
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