Thursday, March 24, 2016


Dates. We all have dates that are important to us; birthdays, anniversaries. For a transplant patient, there are likely many dates we will never forget. At least that’s the case for me. 

November 11, 2013 - That was the day I woke up coughing and believed I had developed a cold. Over 3 months, there were multiple hospital stays trying to find out what was wrong with me.

December 2-9, 2013 - Spent in Lutheran General Hospital Seeking a Diagnosis.

Feb. 11, 2014 - That was the day I flew to the Mayo Clinic looking for a diagnosis. 
Feb. 12, 2014 - The day that changed my life forever. I finally received a diagnosis. I was told I had Idiopathic Bronchiolitis Obliterans. I was also told I would need a lung transplant to save my life.

Flying to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN

April 1, 2014 -The day I got to meet with the Transplant Doctor here at Loyola to discuss my case. I still contend my referring Pulmonologist just pestered him until he agreed to see me. But I am forever grateful that he did.

Waiting to See the Doctor at Loyola

June 10, 2014 -The day Loyola called me to tell me I had been accepted as a transplant candidate and was now listed with UNOS for a lung transplant! Then the waiting began. 

Nov. 2, 2014 11:30PM - on a Sunday night and my cell phone rings. As all Loyola transplant patients know, you get to know a Loyola phone number and when I looked at my phone I knew it was Loyola. My Mom came running down the hall because she instinctively knew that late on a Sunday who else would be calling. It was THE call; get to Loyola as safely and quickly as possible. We have a lung for you. My family went into overdrive getting everything together and notifying other family members that my turn had come and off we went into the dark night to Loyola. I was anxious, and I’ll admit to being scared and it felt so surreal. 

Nov. 3, 2014 -Is the official day that I received the ultimate Gift of Life and my new lung was transplanted. This date is now my Re-Birthday and my family and I celebrated with a quiet family dinner this new important date in my life. We also took a moment and raised our glasses to honor my donor and donor family who made that day possible.

First Time Out of Bed & Sitting in a Chair Post Transplant!

Nov. 11, 2014 - Only 8 days post transplant (and one year to the day that I woke up with that cough) I was discharged and got to go home. I felt like the luckiest person in the world. Slowly I began my recovery and rehab. 

Going Home Only 8 Days Post Transplant!

September 20, 2015 - 10 Months post transplant I participated in the Respiratory Health Association’s 3 Mile Hike for Lung Health in Lincoln Park. I had asked my younger brother to walk with me and he agreed. At the last minute my wonderful family surprised me and everyone who lives in the area walked with me in a show of support. I was also interviewed by two newspapers who told my story and helped raise awareness about organ donation and transplant.

My Video of the Hike of Lung Health 3 Mile Walk!

This changed my life forever. These are the Dates I Will Never Forget as I got sick and went through the process of getting a diagnosis, Lung Transplant and working on my Recovery. 
Grateful & Happy Post Transplant!

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