Canadian Lung Association Blog

Larry’s New Lungs: A surprise visit

Me at the hospital with the gang from Ottawa, Larry,  Julie and Jacovina.

Me at the hospital with the gang from Ottawa, Larry, Julie and Jacovina.

Come that weekend, on Saturday, I had a nice surprise. The gang from the Lung Association in Ottawa came down to visit.  It was great to see Rosario, our respiratory therapist, and Larry Mayville, who was waiting for a transplant and Julie and Jacovina who were waiting as well.  (Jacovina was waiting to get on the transplant list in Toronto, but unfortunately she passed away before she even got to Toronto to receive her life saving surgery and donor lungs.  We were all devastated with that.)

So, the group had a card and a joke for me to make me smile.  They know I’m allergic to a lot of foods. I’m allergic to all fish, seafood, peanuts and all nuts, green peas and eggs.  They brought me a gift all wrapped up nicely and it was heavy. I thought, “What the heck is this!?”  Well, as I was unwrapping it slowly and seeing what it is, it was a can. A can?  A can of what? T hey gave me a can of peas!!!!

They joked thlarry_postop_happyat they thought I should have something to remember them at the Christmas Party, because this year, they thought I wouldn’t be there and they could eat peas with their Christmas Dinner we have every year.

LOL Yeah, but I fooled them, I actually made it to our Christmas Dinner in Ottawa and there was no peas in our dinner. LOL :)

In my 3rd week at Notre Dame Hospital, they let me go to now stay at Maison des Greffes to recuperate.  I still needed to have my incision healed and post op tests done twice a week before I could go home to Ottawa.

What a time that was!  My sister had her own room and I had mine and we both really loved the food there.  I needed to gain some weight back and exercise.  I was really lucky that they had stationary bikes, free weights and treadmills there on the 2nd floor.  That really helped me get back in shape, but I still couldn’t climb any stairs.  Maison des Greffes was so accommodating that they had speakers added to the computer in my room so my sister and I could watch movies.  This was a real break because it was getting a little boring even if, I had to rest and got tired quickly.

As, I gained my strength we even went on a tour of Montreal using my GPS.  We managed to go shopping at a mall and go out to dinner as well.  My sister went to a chiropractor and massage therapist too.  We found it no problem using the GPS. What a riot!! At least we were able to see Montreal a bit as tourists, kind of.   We both enjoyed that.

We were at Maison des Greffes for 2 weeks and then the respirologist at the hospital told me I could go home to Ottawa, however I had to return for post-op clinic, once every 2 weeks for about 2 months.

I was so glad to be back home and that I was able to return to Montreal by train, with my sister for my post op clinics. She went back to Hamilton and I carried on and like I said earlier, I made to our Lung Association Christmas Party.  LOL :)

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Larry Graham

On October 21, 2012 I received a double lung transplant in Montreal after four years of being on supplemental oxygen and being on the transplant waiting list for 22 months. I still say it's a miracle and am trying to repay that miraculous gift everyday by paying it forward and telling my story to help other people waiting for organ transplants.

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