Chariho finance director, who received double lung transplant, advocates for organ donation

THE WESTERLY SUN | Cynthia Drummond
Chariho finance director Brian Stanley with his wife, Karrie, at their Richmond home on Monday, July 10, 2017. Stanley was the recipient of a double lung transplant that saved his life. | Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun
RICHMOND — Were it not for an anonymous donor in the Midwest, Chariho School District Finance Director Brian Stanley would probably not be sitting on his porch with his wife, Karrie, enjoying a summer afternoon.

One year ago, Stanley, who is 48 and the father of two, received a double lung transplant. He is usually reticent about talking about himself, but he decided to tell his story in the hope that more people will sign organ donor cards.

Stanley first fell ill in 2014, when the family was vacationing in Virginia.

“I had a constant, persistent cough, and I really didn’t pay much attention to it,” he said. “Karrie did, and she said, ‘You really should think about getting that checked when we get home.’”

Stanley had a CAT scan, an MRI, and finally, a pulmonologist confirmed the bad news: Stanley had pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal disease that results in the scarring and thickening of lung tissue. Stanley’s mother died of pulmonary fibrosis when she was 55.

Stanley was referred to a pulmonary fibrosis specialist and embarked on a series of lung function tests to create a benchmark so doctors could track the progress of the disease, which has a grim prognosis of three to five years. He also tried two new drugs, without success. He continued to work at his demanding job throughout the period following his diagnosis, stopping only a week before his transplant. Continue reading

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