Yesterday I spoke on the phone with a man who was considering getting a lung transplant. He was referred to me because I had a successful transplant about four years ago. He had difficulty breathing while we spoke. My heart went out to him because I remembered being in his shoes. It is very difficult to lose a basic part of yourself. Whether it’s your ability to walk, remember, see, breathe – to lose something you’ve always had can be devastating.
I recommended that he move forward with getting the transplant because the greatest gift I’d ever received was losing my breath and getting it back. After I woke up from the surgery, I couldn’t believe how great it felt to breathe normally. And not only for that day. I told him that this gift of life breath has extended into the present day. On a daily basis I’m dumbstruck by being able to breathe. It makes life’s pains and disappointments tiny. “Oh, I didn’t get what I wanted, but I can breathe!”
It seemed like it was a relief for him to share in this perspective. He could see his difficult situation in a new light.