When I was 40 years old, I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), which is essentially scarring of the lung tissue. I was devastated! It felt like a death sentence. I was told the only thing that could save me was a lung transplant and I knew there were many more people waiting than organs available. The hourglass of time had begun and I needed a miracle.
This was a hard time, and I found strength in God, love and my family. I came to peace with the fact that God was in control and that my life was in his hands. I wasn’t done living yet – I wanted to have a family, children and travel. I wanted to play tennis, skate, sing and dance without being tethered to oxygen.
When the call came that there were lungs available for me, I was already packed! It was a joyful, happy time, though my mama was scared and I knew that somewhere, a family was experiencing a horrible loss.
With my transplant, I received the gift of time. I can breathe again! I can sing at church again! I’ve made amazing memories with my family and have been blessed to watch my niece grow up. I’ve traveled and am working on writing a book. I promote organ, eye and tissue donation so that more people can get the transplant they need.
I am eternally grateful for my lifesaving gift. Every day, with every breath, I honor my organ donor.
Dot volunteers with Texas Organ Sharing Alliance.