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Old 12-16-2012, 03:01 PM   #19
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Default Re: Would you rather die, or spend the rest of your life in maximum prison?

Originally Posted by BlueandGold

This has a ring of truth to it, could you elaborate on the specifics of the situation that led you to come to that belief?

In 2000 I was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency .

Essentially, in its worst manifestation, it results in hereditary emphysema. I was early 40s, non-smoker, full blown COPD.

By 2004 I was listed for a double lung transplant. At 6'7", available donors are few and far between. Over the course of three years I had three false alarms: times when they felt they had found the lungs that I needed, but for some reason weren't suitable for transplant. In the last of those instances, I was laying in pre-op, IV's going, ready to be wheeled into surgery when they found a spot on the donor lungs. My lung function was less than 10%, I was more dead than alive, and went home prepared to die.

Early on in my illness I really didn't think I'd pursue transplant. Lots of issues of quality of life. As my condition worsened, and I was faced with the reality of my mortality, my attitude shifted dramatically. I would have tried anything to save my life.

I've been incredibly fortunate. My 5th anniversary will be 1/2/13. I'm healthy, living a relatively normal life. filled with love and hope for the future.

Currently, my best friend is dealing with stage 4 brain cancer. When I learned of the debilitating treatment he'll require just to prolong what will likely be a crappy quality of life, my first thought was "I'm not sure I'd go through all that...". Then I saw the fear in my friend's face, that desperate look I saw in the mirror a few years ago. I remembered others saying they didn't know if they'd fight like I did, putting up with a weekly therapy that left me sick, tired, and really was doing little to help.

I told him to fight like hell to the very last.

Thanks for asking. Become an organ and tissue donor today.
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