All Stories

Tracy Watson-Double Lung Recipient

Lung recipient (427x640)My name is Tracy Watson.  I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 5.  Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.  During my teenage years, I was faced with more digestive issues.  My parents were told I would not live to be a teenager but I beat those odds.

During my teenage years, I developed some lung infections.  I would be hospitalized 1 to 2 times a year to clear my lungs.  During those stays, I would receive IV antibiotics for 2 weeks.  Eventually, I was taught to give my own antibiotics at home.  I did not let my illness hold me back from living life.  

I graduated high school, and attended Morehead State University and was able to live on campus.  I received a bachelor degree in Education.  I became a special education teacher and held a teaching job for 15 years.  In 2011 my illness became more severe.  In November 2011 I was placed on a lung transplant list.  By 2012 I was hospitalized more frequently and my lung function was at 17%.  I was not able to work any longer and needed oxygen 24/7

On November 14, 2014 I received the call that would change my life. This would be my third call for new lungs.  The first 2 calls, the lungs were not good.  I arrived at the hospital, and after waiting 5-6 hours, I was told these lungs are for you.  My surgery lasted 12 to 13 hours.  It was not easy going for me or my family.  Thankfully within 2 hours, I was taken off the ventilator and woke up.  My family and friends had endured a stressful night.  My strength comes from them and god.  They were there to support me through my most difficult days.  I feel very blessed and know god has his arms around me.  I certainly don’t go one day without thinking about my donor.  I have been given the greatest gift one can receive.  I hope to make the donor family proud of the difficult decision they were given on that painful day.  

I breathe easy now, and will be eternally grateful for this gift.  Please don’t hesitate to give the greatest gift one can give.  In one breath, a moment lost.  In one moment, a miracle shared.

Be a Hero.  Be an Organ donor.