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Double lung transplant for WP alum ‘an act of God’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 23 July 2010 18:22

Amanda (Roe) Douglas, a graduate of Wauneta-Palisade’s Class of 1996, can look forward to a bright future with husband Troy and daughter Tryphena. Douglas has a second chance at life after being the recipient of a double lung transplant in April. At this year’s Harvest Fest Douglas and her mother Marvene Roe will hold a raffle to raise money for a Cystic Fibrosis cure featuring items the two of them have knitted.

 

By Josh Sumner

The Wauneta Breeze

 

The road to recovery has been a long and winding path for Amanda Douglas and her family.

Amanda was born with Cystic Fibrosis and has spent most of the last year of her life in excruciating pain due to complications brought on by the disease.

“The pain was indescribable,” said Amanda. “If there was a scale from 1 to 10, I’d say I was at a 15.”

Amanda’s pain was being housed in her lungs, which were filling with mucus due to her Cystic Fibrosis. The buildup of mucus from CF causes infection, kills lung tissue and makes it nearly impossible to breathe.

Now, thanks to what she says was an act of God, Amanda has a second chance at life. She was the recipient of a double lung transplant on April 5, 2010.

Back in 2009, Amanda’s condition had deteriorated significantly. She was in and out of the hospital constantly.

Oxygen tubes ran throughout every room of her two-story home. She was on a feeding tube at night which provided her with enough calories to give her the energy to breathe. She relied on her family to bathe her.

In September, Amanda went to Denver for a lung evaluation in hopes of finally getting healthy. Instead, doctors found only more problems — this time in her heart.

“Doctors told me that I had to have a heart procedure done before I could receive new lungs,” said Amanda.

The pulmonary veins and arteries between Amanda’s lungs and heart had expanded because they were no longer going through a normal path. Doctors had to open the path back up, otherwise they ran the risk of cutting the enlarged veins during a potential lung surgery.

Amanda spent nearly the entire month of January in the hospital. She had heart surgery on Jan. 23, then was released on Jan. 25 to celebrate her daughter Tryphena’s first birthday.

“I had so much energy that week after they cleaned my heart out,” said Amanda.

But the burst was short lived. Amanda was back in the hospital on Feb. 1, where she remained for the entire month. She was life-flighted back to Denver in March for yet another reevaluation.

The good news: her heart had healed enough for her to be cleared for a lung transplant. She was put on a list on April 3, and was told that the average wait for a matching donor was 18 months.

The wait began. But it didn’t last long.

Miraculously, barely 24 hours after Amanda was put on the waiting list, a matching donor was found. It’s the fastest turnaround for finding a lung donor that the hospital had ever seen.

“The donor was a perfect match,” said Amanda. “Our bodies were the same size. We had the same antibodies. This was truly an act of God.”

Surgery was set for April 5, but it wasn’t Amanda who was nervous.

“Seventeen years ago, I lost my mom to a failed heart surgery,” said Amanda’s husband Troy Douglas. “Seventeen years later, I felt like I was losing my wife.”

Amanda went under the knife at approximately 9:30 a.m. MT on April 5. After about eight hours of surgery, doctors considered the procedure a success. Amanda hasn’t looked back since.

“The doctors are surprised by how well it’s going,” said Amanda. “Every time he’s seen me, he’s said I’m further along than what I should be.”

In her darkest hours, when she had nearly lost the will to live, getting to see her daughter grow up was what kept Amanda’s will to live flickering. She and Troy often feel like the luckiest people in the world.

“God must really love me,” said Troy. “He’s answered a lot of my prayers.”

When asked what she would say to the family of the person who donated their lungs to save her life, Amanda’s eyes fill up with tears.

“They were willing to give me life,” said Amanda. “I’m going to be able to raise my daughter because of them. I would love to hug them and say thank you.”

Last Updated on Friday, 23 July 2010 18:25