Lung_CL_Twitter_1.png

This October, we celebrated National Healthy Lung Month by sharing the stories of two double-lung transplant recipients, Chris and Holly. Both Chris and Holly have been able to lead normal, healthy lives after recieving the gift of life. We wanted to help them share their stories of transplantation. 

Chris Zastrow

chris-and-his-dad-dennis.jpg

Chris received a double-lung transplant on the night of July 29, 2018. He was 32 years old. Hear what he had to say about being a double-lung recipient, what life is like post-transplant, and what it means to be healthy.

Q: How is your life different post-transplant?

A: Life is so incredibly different for me post-transplant, simply because my respiratory problems started at a very early age of 3-months-old. I'm finally able to experience and do things I only had dreamt of doing, so I have many years of life to catch up on.

Q: What does the word healthy mean to you?

A: The word healthy means, beyond just physical health, is mental health and taking every chance you get and living a better quality of life.

Q: What activities can you now do post-transplant?

A: In post-transplant life, I do a lot of things from festivals and sporting events but most importantly to me is dive back into my love for the outdoors, like camping, fishing, and hunting. I just love being able to go out and experience it all. 

Q: Do you have things on your bucket list you’re looking forward to tackling in the future?

A: I have a few things to tackle on my bucket list and slowly but surely checking them off. I have a trip planned next year to visit Fenway park because I am a Red Sox fan and also because my donor was a Red Sox fan. Another potential trip would be to my donor family in Indiana.

Q: How would you describe breathing through your new lungs?

A: Breathing with my lungs is quite an amazing and new experience for me in particular because I had never known what it was like to breathe normal, so I view every breath and opportunity as a blessing because of my donor and his family. I can do things and help and not have to sit on the sidelines of life, and watch it go by.

Holly Hahn-Baker

holly-hahn-baker-double-lung-recipient.jpg

Holly received a double-lung transplant on January 3, 1998. She was 39 years old. We asked Holly a few questions on what it means to be a double-lung recipient, what life is like post-transplant, and what it means to be healthy.

Q: How is your life different post-transplant?

A: The biggest difference is that I am not tethered to an oxygen tank 24/7, which was a part of my life for 3 years pre-transplant. I remember the first time that my husband and I were able to go to dinner and a movie after my transplant, because it was so exciting to be able to be away from home for many hours without having to return to refill my oxygen tank!

Q: What does the word healthy mean to you?

A: To me, the word healthy means being able to do whatever you want to do.

Q: What activities can you now do post-transplant?

A: I work, play tennis, and take aerobics classes. There is nothing that I won't try, even though I may need to adjust my activities accordingly. For example, I can't play singles tennis but I can play doubles.

Q: Do you have things on your bucket list you’re looking forward to tackling in the future?

A: I would love to exceed all expectations for the number of years survived post double-lung transplant!

Q: How would you describe breathing through your new lungs?

A: The big difference for me is that I don't cough all the time, which is what I did for the first 39 years of my life.

 

The life that Chris and Holly now live would not be possible without their donors. Organ donors are true heroes, and each person that signs up on the donor registry has the potential to save up to 8 lives! Are you registered? 

Join The Registry