FEATUR ES | Breaking the Silence: Organ Transplantation
“I’m semi-retired now. I want to enjoy every minute of every day. I have an immense feeling of gratitude.” - William ’Dan’ Andrews
recovery was in large part due to the pulmonary rehab program. Other than my lungs, I was basically in pretty good shape.” “Our whole family is incredibly grateful to UVA for giving us our father back,” says Lauren. “When we were young, Dad was involved in all our activities, like coaching our little league teams. I want my son Carter (11), and Annie’s children, James (13) and Sam (11), to have the same experience.” Meghan is recently married and is also excited that her future children will have the opportunity to know their grandfather. “It really is pretty amazing how the pieces just fell into place,” Dan recounts. “My primary care physician convinced me to go to the hospital. The hospital referred me to the pulmonologist, where I happened to see a brochure that led me to pulmonary rehab. Paula McNutt took the time to investigate the payment options so I could afford to participate in the program. My doctor retired, so I saw Dr. Plankeel, who in turn suggested the transplant. I truly believe this sequence of events involved more than just luck. There was a higher power up there pulling the strings.” Dan’s life has changed in many ways since his transplant. “I’m semi-retired now,” he says. “I want to enjoy every minute of every day. I have an immense feeling of gratitude. I am thankful for Paula McNutt for getting me back in shape so I was ready for surgery. For my transplant team — Drs. Weder, Kilbourne, and Mannem — who managed my care before my operation and keep me well now. And, of course, I am grateful for my surgeon Dr. Krupnik and his team. In fact, the whole staff at UVA — from the housekeepers and people who delivered my food, to the doctors and nurses — all treated me and my family with extraordinary care and compassion.” Today, Dan’s future looks bright. “My lung capacity is excellent,” he says. “Now I can devote my time to important things — like pestering my wife and grandkids, going fishing and turkey hunting, and getting back to fixing up my cabin in Cumberland County. It’s been lying dormant for five years and it needs some love and attention.”
What is COPD? COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a disease that causes reduced airflow to the lungs and makes it hard to breathe. It is also progressive, meaning that it worsens over time. COPD can include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or both. Roughly 15 million adults in the US have been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may not even know that they have it. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD, but other factors include long-term exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollutants, chemicals, and dust.
Published on Feb 1, 2018