Select Page

Stories of hope

David: My miracle transplant journey

Sixteen months ago I received a phone call at 10pm requesting that I come to the hospital immediately for my double-lung transplant.

This sounded crazy, since I was only placed on the transplant list 4 days prior and told to expect the wait time could be months or over a year!

Why did I urgently need a double-lung transplant? In April 2021, Covid-19 brought on pulmonary fibrosis, which transformed me from an active 68-year-old to a couch potato who required oxygen to walk across the room.

Part One of my miraculous double-lung transplant story transplant story explains my near-death encounter in the middle of the heroic 18-hour surgery and the details of my 36-day hospital stay.

Then came the amazing outpatient care team — each one gracious, patient and cheerful — lovingly urging me to follow the all-important post-transplant survival protocol and make the best of the challenges I faced.

Yes indeed, I am SO grateful to everyone who helped me along my road to recovery this past year — doctors, nurses, family, friends, co-workers and most of all, the donor family and our gracious, loving God.

Since last August my recovery has been steady and gradual. My daughter has been my primary caregiver — cooking countless meals, doing errands, helping transport me to the hospital weekly and encouraging me to do daily exercises to get back in shape. I’m now walking 2–4 miles a day, swimming laps daily and plan to resume biking and kayaking this year.

Also offering great moral support in my new life in Sarasota has been my granddaughter and her husband. My other three daughters have all been a great inspiration as well. In fact, several of my girls, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are now planning to relocate to Florida this next year! I can hardly wait!

In January 2023, I began teaching at a local senior center a class on Telling Your Life Story and was able to complete my own autobiography in just eight weeks! I am currently teaching a this class at a local church and Independent Living facility and will begin teaching classes at a local college this fall.

All in all, it has been a very transformational year! I can hardly keep my enthusiasm contained for this new season of life, so I also enjoy visiting local coffee houses and open mic night’s in the area frequently to share my humble songs, as well as writing a few new songs this year.

Wherever I go, I am both mindful and prayerful of those facing major health challenges and the dedicated healthcare professionals who serve.

There is a ever-growing need for more transplant donors, so I’ve also become a volunteer Ambassador for UNOS to help get the word out.

Thankfully, my doctors tell me my transplant could extend my life by 10–20 years, although the national average is about 6.6 years. If you or a loved one are considering becoming an organ donor or transplant recipient, go for it!

Hand-drawn heart
Lung, Stories, UNOS Ambassador

UNOS Ambassadors

Learn more about becoming a UNOS Ambassador

Share your story

Share how you’re #LivingItForward. How has organ donation and transplant touched your life?

Stories of hope exist because of the selfless gift of organ donors. Read donor tributes. #LivingItForward

UNOS proudly recognizes sponsors whose generosity helps make our lifesaving mission possible.
Learn about sponsorships and our editorial standards.

Share This