What lung condition led to your need for a lung transplant?
I was diagnosed with COPD (Emphysema) in 2012.
When were you placed on the transplant list?
I was placed on 'the list' in August 2013 and had my single-lung transplant on February 24, 2015.
Did you know you'd spend about three months in Vancouver post-transplant?
Yes, we were. Our initial thoughts were: “how can we afford this?”
Once on 'the list' you can get ‘the call’ anytime. Without knowing when 'the call' would come, how did you plan?
There wasn’t much we could do prior to the call. Fortunately just before I was released from the hospital after my surgery, we secured a place through my partner’s brother. Before that we did call some places available by the month, but the cost was way out of our budget. Places were renting for between $2,600 and $3,000 per month.
Can you speak to some of the hardships you faced ?
We had friends take care of our home and animals in 150 Mile House, so there was no worry there at all. Our friends even cleaned up my shop and finished the work that needed to be done to the entrance to our home. Other friends came over to clean and dust. It was very kind of them.
How much did it cost you both to stay in Vancouver?
We were in Vancouver for three months and spent close to $10,000. It also cost us $5,000 in travel for testing before my transplant. Overall, our costs were $15,000.
What advice would you offer future lung transplant patients and caregivers?