In September 2016, my oxygen saturation continued dropping and my supplemental oxygen needs kept going up. Patients with IPF can sometimes develop a horrible cough, which I did, and at this point I could not talk at all without having a serious coughing spasm. This led to my transplant team determining that I needed to be added to the UNOS transplant list at New York Presbyterian/Columbia and at Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Life with a New Lung
In January 2017, I was called into Brigham Women’s Hospital because there was a potential lung available for me. The next day, I was prepped and received a left lung transplant. Just 24 hours later, I was up and walking so I was moved out of the ICU and placed in another room where they could monitor my progress walking up and down the halls. I was sent home from the hospital on day six. Though I’ve had some typical small issues, overall, I did well the first year, and have not had any major issues with my donor lung since. Being in regular contact with my healthcare provider, and working as a team to address any challenges that came up before and after the transplant has been essential to maintaining my disease.
Before and after the transplant, I attended pulmonary rehabilitation and I try to stay active. Before my diagnosis I liked to power walk, so the rehab team encouraged me to continue that activity and even helped me participate in a 5K walk post-transplant. The Hartford Marathon 5K charity walk/run is something that I have done every year since 2017.
Blog last updated: May 2, 2022