Lost Lungs in Milwaukee

I am not sure if the news has spread to other parts of the country or world, but within the last couple of weeks, there was a major plane crash that killed 6 people in Lake Michigan. Normally, I hear such news and although I stop and say a small prayer for the people, it just hits me like any other tragic news. This time was different.

This time it was 6 people on a medical transport plane from Michigan to Milwaukee and back. They were not carrying a passenger but a second chance at life. Double lungs to be exact – for a patient in Michigan. Double lungs? My heart sank as did the precious gift of life in that plane crash. My mind raced at the news – not only are the families of the fallen mourning but the donor family and potential recipient. You see, double lungs are for those patients that cannot survive on one lung alone – like those that have Cystic Fibrosis – like my husband. Three and a half years he waited and five dry runs. What the patient must have been feeling when they not only received the news that they were not getting their transplant that day but that those who were fighting for that person’s miracle had perished in the crash. Six lives and a miracle set of lungs – gone in a flash. And to think of the donor family that made such a difficult decision to donate, just to have this outcome.

There is a silver lining in the dark cloud of this tragedy. The heart of the donor was successfully transplanted to another patient and that transplant recipient was last reported as doing well. Still, you can’t help but feel for those involved – those that fought for a second chance at life and those that continue to wait for their miracle.

God bless the donors, recipients, and those that put their lives on the line to make that miracle a reality.

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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