2016 Transplant and Organ Donation Calendar: Stan Sutton
Stan Sutton, 58, knows the meaning of the word hope. He received a double lung transplant last January after waiting, and hoping, for 15 years.
Stan had been symptomatic for many years and was diagnosed with asthma when he was in his thirties. But his condition kept getting worse. When his sister was diagnosed with Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, an inherited disorder that causes lung disease, Stan went to get checked and was also diagnosed with the disorder.
Stan was originally listed for a lung transplant in 2000, but was put on hold status because his health improved enough to delay his need for transplant. "The last few years were quite a struggle. I was too sick to work but not sick enough to have a transplant," says Stan. While he was waiting, he lost his sister to the same disease. Yet Stan, who was now on oxygen 24 hours a day, did not give up hope. When he received the call for his transplant in January, 2015, it couldn't have come at a better time. "We'd been out for a family event that day and I could barely make it up the stairs," says Stan. "I knew I was running out of time."
Since his transplant, Stan feels like he's turned the clock back 30 years. He has tremendous gratitude for the hospital staff and his family, who has been by his side. "My family is thrilled that I can start doing things with them again," says Stan. "They are seeing a side of me they haven't seen for a while."
Stan and his wife, Lova, are back to enjoying some exercise during their evening bike rides, and Stan is looking forward to more camping adventures with his family.