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For eight years, Bill Cooke battled emphysema. His doctor began to speak about lung transplants, and referred Bill to the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center. In 2001, Bill had lung reduction and heart bypass surgery to extend the length of time before he would need the transplant. Bill knew a transplant was inevitable. “Pre-transplant, there was no quality of life,” says Bill. “I was at that point where anything would be better than the state of health that I was in at that time in my life.”
It wasn’t long after Bill was added to the transplant waiting list when a new set of lungs became available. Fortunately, the very first time he got called into the hospital, the lungs were a match for him. Bill received his transplant in 2008. He went through the pre-transplant process expecting to receive two lungs, however, immediately prior to surgery was informed he would get one lung due to complications from his previous lung reduction surgery.
Since his transplant, Bill is able to do almost anything he sets out to do – long walks with the dog, cutting the lawn, climb ladders, and ride a bike. He looks forward to one day participating in the Transplant Games.
During the transplant process, Bill visited websites such as www.2ndwind.org, and attended events and conferences held by the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center. He took comfort in knowing that the transplant team at Hopkins was there for him. He describes the team as being “very caring, compassionate, reassuring and knowledgeable.” He also attributes positive energy, a strong faith and family in helping him through his transplant.