So Very, Very Thankful
This Thanksgiving, I felt so very, very thankful. On October 30, 2005, I received the Gift of Life when I received a left lung was transplant and it has made all the difference!
I cannot be thankful enough for all of the people who have made my second chance at life possible! I thank God for letting me survive long enough to receive my new lung, and for the successful transplant, and just for so many details falling into place in His timing. I thank my donor and his or her family for sharing this precious gift with me in their time of sorrow. I thank Lifeline of Ohio for their role in the donation process. I thank Dr. Patrick Ross, Jr., and his amazing team for the skillful and professional transplantation. I thank the wonderfully caring medical staff at The Ohio State University Medical Center for their excellent care before, during and after surgery. I thank my husband, family, friends, pastors and church for their help.
About four years ago, I began to experience weakness, trouble coughing and almost constant coughing. I had an x-ray that showed I had scarring in my lungs, and I was eventually diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. I was referred by my pulmonologist to The Ohio State University Medical Center, and while waiting for my appointment, I got worse. I was put on oxygen and sent to the OSUMC emergency room. I was told at that time, October 2002, that I would need a lung transplant to survive. It was a sobering thought. My career as a teacher came to an abrupt end because I was on oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
During my three year wait, my job was to get ready for the transplant. I underwent many tests and did my best to get in shape and maintain a fit lifestyle. My lungs did deteriorate despite my pulmonary rehab at Wooster Community Hospital, and I was never without oxygen in my nose. My life was lived attached by tubing to a machine and tanks. Life was difficult. It was precious even under those circumstances, but, oh, the difference my lung transplant has made!
Since the second day after transplantation, I have been on no supplemental oxygen. It is so incredibly wonderful! I can walk, and talk. The color has returned to my skin and I can do more and more each day. Every day is better and I now have a hope, and a future.
What more precious gift can be given than LIFE! I am so very, very thankful for the generous gift I have received!
Carole Winkler, left lung transplant recipient