June 15, 2011 was my seventh year anniversary of my double lung transplant received at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. I credit my generally good health to the following:
- My relationship with God and his healing and sustaining hand.
- My wife, family, and friends for their prayers and support.
- Excellent medical care from those at Barnes Jewish and in Joplin.
- Faithfulness in taking my prescribed medications and in regular exercise in pulmonary rehab.
- Keeping active in writing and teaching opportunities and in family and church activities.
For those considering having a transplant I can testify my transplant has been a great blessing to me. It is a very serious and important decision. I resisted the idea at first but I am glad I decided to receive a transplant. I am grateful for these extra seven years especially with my family and additional opportunities to serve others.
I had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This disease progressively scars the lungs rendering the person unable to breathe. At present there is no known cause and no cure. Annually 40,000 die of this disease—the same number as die of breast cancer. I am so blessed to have received a transplant and no longer have the disease.
September 18-25, 2011 was National Pulmonary Awareness Week. The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis provides education and promotes research on this disease. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 2505 and S. 1350) has been introduced in congress to increase funding for a national patient registry and for additional education and research on this deadly disease. If this bill would be enacted it would accelerate efforts in finding an effective treatment for pulmonary fibrosis.