With Humble Gratitude

Jim Haigh

Transplant Recipient, Minnesota

  • Lungs, December 16, 2010,

9 1/2 years ago, after my wife died of cancer, I was diagnosed with IPF, and my whole world changed. I was a widow with a daughter to raise. I didn’t know what would happen to me or my daughter as the disease progressed. The disease progressed slowly, at first, but in 2010, it started attacking my lungs at an alarming rate. In conjunction with my excellent pulmonologist Dr. Keith Harmon, I started the process of getting on the list for a lung transplant at the U of M. Fortunately, I was accepted, and received a single lung on December 16, 2010, 5 years ago to this day. I awoke with a new lease on life, and was able to return to work, re-marry, and see my daughter graduate from both high school & college.

I was able to see my daughter grow from a child to an adult, graduating from high school & college. These were the goals I set back in 2010.

I don’t know my donor, or his family. I have sent letters of thanks and gratitude to the donor family. There is no way to thank them properly except to let the family know that I have been a grateful recipient who continues to take care of their loved one by caring for myself. My family is also eternally grateful for the gift of life. We know the donation was made at a particularly bad time of year – the holiday season – and we hope that knowing the giving of life made a tremendous difference in the life of another family eases the pain of that donor family.

I would also like to thank Dr. Keith Harmon at Methodist, as well as the U of M Transplant Team, Drs. Patil and Herz. I would like to also acknowledge the love & support of Maddy, my daughter, and my wife, Judy, during these 5 years after my successful transplant.

In gratitude, Jim