Monday, June 27, 2011

9.5 Years after Single Lung Transplant

About 11 years ago my dad had a cough and he thought he had a cold.  He went to a doctor and was given medication.  He went to the doctor a second time because he still had a cough and the doctor thought he might have bronchitis and gave him another medication. After a month of coughing my dad went back to the doctor and he suggested that my dad have a bronchoscopy.  Well his lung collapsed during the procedure.  This was the first time this doctor ever had a lung collapse during this procedure before a sample of the lung tissue was removed.  He then had to go through a mediastinoscopy and following this he went through an open lung biopsy. 

The biopsy results were Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.  His pulmonologist suggested he contact a lung transplant center and they agreed on Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).  Here dad went through extensive testing and physical examination as well as an intensive medical history.  He was an out patient at the hospital for 3 days in order to fulfill all the requirements.  Long story short, he was placed on the lung transplant list.  He waited 19 months for his lung.  Today the lung allocation score (LAS) is used but then where you were on the list is where you stayed.  It was on a first come, first served basis.  Now the allocation of lungs help the patients who needs them the most and is calculated by a series of calculations and formulas.
Here it was Thanksgiving weekend November 24, 2001.  My parents and I had gone out to eat.  I was at home watching a special on TV and my parents called during the part that I had been waiting for.  Playing around I hung up on them and they called back and I did not answer because I thought they were playing with me.  After I watched the 5 minute segment I called them back.  Well it was no joke, my dad had received 'the call' and they were just about out the door.  I met them at HUP and here it was.  It was a "go" and not a dry run.  It was real foggy that night.  So foggy that they could not bring the lungs in via helicopter.  They told us that the lungs were coming in by car.  Well they gave dad some medication to relax and he slept until the doctor woke him up to tell him they were going to start the surgery.  To this day he questions why the doctor even woke him up.  He would have never known.  Anyway, mom and I were up all night and into the next day. He received a right lung.

When we finally got to see dad and he was aware that we were there, we asked him how his breathing was and he gave us a 'thumbs up.'  Later when he was able to talk he said that his first breath was so deep that he thought he had died and gone to heaven.  He said he kept breathing in deeper and deeper.  Three months of pulmonary therapy in Philadelphia and the rest is history.

If you have any questions for my dad please let me know and I we will be happy to answer.  Until then...

Celebrate Life,

1 comment:

  1. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comApril 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM


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    I am writing to ask if you can help spread the word about this campaign by including it as a resource on your page:

    The more stories we receive the more Healthline will donate to COPD research, support, and treatment programs. Would you please consider including this on your site or sharing with your followers?

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