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Stories of hope

Debi: a double lung transplant

Debi Castonguay

Transplant…It is a scary thought.

I lived with my lung condition, COPD, for 12 years before I got to the point that my life was really not “living” but existing. When first told I had COPD, it was very softly spoken and not a big deal to my doctor. I, on the other hand, had never heard of this disease, and so the research began. What I found out was that COPD would one day take my life.

Transplant was finally mentioned to me as a way to continue life. “Transplant” was a word I never wanted to hear. But once it was said, it was too late to stop all the questions and the fear that remained with me. My lung function was becoming worse as the months went on. Still, transplant was not in my agenda.

Another cold, another ER visit, and soon I was visiting the ER every few months. Things that were simple, became hard. No longer could I make my bed… No more running, stairs or dancing with my husband. Life was now not as I had seen it becoming.

Finally I was tested and put on the list for a lung transplant. Just thinking of what my life would be like with a new set of lungs… The next few days went by pretty fast. And then came the call that the perfect set of lungs had become available. Surgery only lasted 5 hours, and each hour they would report to my anxious family.

Now, how wonderful my life is. I can only thank the beautiful choice of my unknown donor. Yes, someone lost a loved one at this same miracle moment for my life, but that loved one will forever continue to live within me. Donors=HEROES

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Lung, Stories

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