22 November 2010

A New Set Of Lungs

The boy with CF that I used to babysit (and whom I briefly referred to here) is no longer a boy.  He's a young man in his early twenties.  I haven't mentioned his name or much about him on Bennett's blog on purpose.  I want to protect his privacy.  However, it is hard not to share our thoughts on something really really exciting that happened to him last night.

Last night, the young man, who has been on the lung transplant list for several weeks now, got the call that he had new lungs waiting for him.  And so, into surgery he went - within hours of the call.

He received a double lung transplant in a surgery that ended this morning.  According to his mother, he is still sedated so they have not been able to talk to him to find out how his new lungs feel.  But from other CFers who have experienced a lung transplant that I have spoken to and/or read about, that first real breath is absolutely exhilarating - because it's one of the first times they can actually breathe deeply!

We are extremely excited to hear about this young man's new opportunity to breathe.  But we are also paying close attention to the process as we know that without a cure, Bennett will likely live out the same journey at some point.  The more we know, the more strength we gain and the more ok we are with the process.

Please keep this young man in your prayers as he goes forward.  His main concerns will be rejection and infection to his lungs.  God has been faithful to this young man - and continues to be.  Just has he has been with Bennett.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!


  1. I am praying for JM every hour all day today! :)

  2. Hi Breck!

    Thank you for telling us about your friend and his new lungs -- I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers...

    It is a truly amazing thing -- after living your whole life with crappy, cystic fibrosis lungs -- to be given the chance to breathe, "normally", freely and easily -- it's mind-blowing...

    The first breath is not usually exhiliarating - the lungs we're given have undergone incredible trauma, and they're being put into a chest that has been opened and has gone under incredible trauma -- it can take months before we breathe deeply -- but for most of us, it is amazing from the very start... I remember when I regained consciousness and I was breathing without the vent -- I was on room air before the next day -- but breathing is often in short breaths, panting almost... But I remember looking up at my monitor, on room air, and seeing my O2 sat at 95 and I started to cry. I start to cry when I think about it now... That was 10 years ago for me.

    I hope your friend's journey is like mine -- I hope his recovery and his life after transplant is as amazing as mine has been... He's in for an incredible ride... I learned about the beautiful girl who saved my life a few years after I received her lungs. After struggling almost 40 years with cystic fibrosis -- this breathin' stuff with "real" lungs blows my freaking mind. I think about it constantly - and I think about her throughout the day, every day. I can see her smile when I close my eyes... I have some of our story at I hope after struggling with his lungs for so long - that your friend's journey is like mine...

    And I hope that your precious little one benefits from those of us who have gone before him... I've been hearing about a cure or treatment for CF being "just around the corner" for the better part of 40 years now... It won't serve any purpose for me now -- but I've never been more excited for people like Bennett than I am at this time... I hope we find something that will allow you to cuddle his grandchildren...

    Love, Steve

    Steve Ferkau
    Chicago, IL


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