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James-Double Lung Recipient

I was living the dream; I had a lovely wife, three beautiful children, and a grandchild when my world was changed forever.

I was working at the local Kellogg’s Plant to care for my family when I began experiencing episodes of not being able to breathe. In February 2014 after my initial doctor’s appointment for my newfound breathing problem I was diagnosed with progressive pulmonary fibrosis and told I had six months to live. After this grim prognosis I tried everything possible to prolong my life; exercise, therapy, diets, and the list goes on. Despite these attempts my health continued to fail.
Following my visit at UK Medical Center to see if I was a candidate for a lung transplant I became gravely ill. I spent almost two weeks in the ICU at my local hospital before being transported to UK Medical Center. I spent five weeks at UK when on April 1, 2014 I was placed on the waiting list for a lung transplant.

On April 15, 2014 I received the most amazing gift I have ever received; the gift of life! Although my family and I were happy and thankful for my second chance at life I felt great sadness for the loss my donor’s family was experiencing. I still think of them and the heartache of losing a loved one.
The surgeons who performed my transplant told me that my new lungs were a perfect fit as if they were meant to be. I’m thankful for my donor and the amazing gift he gave to me. Because of him I have been able to celebrate being married to my beautiful wife for 25 years, attend my sons’ weddings, and spend time with my grandchildren. I am now able to enjoy activities that I once enjoyed such as gardening and fishing.

My donor is my hero; he gave me my life back and for that I am eternally grateful!