The day has finally come: I am on the lung transplant list! On Monday we found out that because of my young age and other factors like blood type that I am the number one candidate on the list for this hospital. What a crazy month and a half this has been. In a few weeks I went from relatively sick to extremely sick, and in another few weeks (hopefully not months), I could have a total stranger’s lungs inside my chest, lungs that are perfectly pink and healthy. Lungs that the donor is using as I type this blog to talk, sing, yell, whisper, and laugh. It is a truly mind-blowing concept that my donor is currently going about his or her everyday life, unaware that his or her lungs could eventually extend my life by a decade or so. I could get a male or female’s lungs (which would be fodder for many jokes) and they will be young lungs because they typically only take lung donations from people under 40. If that isn’t a Christian concept, that the donor’s tragic death becomes a gift of life for me, then I don’t know what is. None of it makes sense without the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. It will be a high calling, and one that I’m prepared to answer, to honor this gift of life from my donor and be grateful for it with every single breath.

Lung transplant is NOT the cure all for my problems. Think of it as trading one disease for another while hitting a “reset” button on my lungs. After transplant I will be on a ton of immuno-suppressants, steroids, and antibiotics, as well as all of my other vitamins and supplements. For the first six months to a year post-transplant, I will have to wear a mask in public, be extremely germ and bacteria conscious, and will not be able to travel outside the Dallas area. As exciting and yet terrifying as all of this is, I am more spiritually and emotionally equipped than ever before to be able to handle this journey through transplant. This entire year has been a roller coaster of extreme sickness and then surprising bounce backs and so I am prepared for the ups and downs of transplant.

Spiritually speaking, I have a powerful army of prayer warriors that I and my family can feel is lifting us up in prayer every day, and I cannot put into words how grateful I am for that. I have been getting Holy Communion almost every day and praying very often for the intercession of my best friend and confidant in heaven, St. Therese of Lisieux. For the last year and a half of her short life, as she battled tuberculosis, she went through a similar roller coaster of emotions and bad health. Lung transplants were not even remotely possible in her day, but I have full confidence that she will be with me every step of the way, urging me to never lose the ardent desire to become a saint which she herself had until the day she died. It was through her that I realized that God would not allow one of his children to have such a horrible, disgusting illness like cystic fibrosis unless he had an infinitely greater purpose for allowing it. Witnessing to God’s love in small, unnoticed ways, as the Little Flower herself says: “To live by love is to go through life sowing peace and joy in hearts”—that is my purpose. And if there’s anything we can learn from the life of St. Therese, it is that God will take our offerings of love, however small, and make them echo throughout all eternity.

St. Therese, pray for me!


10 thoughts on “LUNGS

  1. Thank you for keeping us updated! We will keep the prayers coming! Keep the blogs coming…I think they are an inspiration for all of us.

  2. Daniel, while the transplant will seem scary, please know how excited we are for you and that we will be storming the heavens with prayer for you and your family. God is good! St. Theresa, please pray for Daniel.

  3. Dear Daniel, thank you for this beautiful update. I am praying for you daily. You also might consider asking the prayers of Fr. Jack Deeves, our beloved Ursuline chaplain who died in 2010. He survived 20 years following a heart transplant and was a wonderful priest.

  4. Daniel, I am the crazy lady that sent you a little care package for your stay in the hospital. I had no idea at that time of the journey that you will be taking for the next few months. Thank you for your update. You will be in my daily prayers and I will spread little acts of love to all as gratitude for the love God is showering on you at this time. Stay strong!

  5. Hello Daniel,
    Friend of Greg Graham. 🙂
    Parishoner at StMary’s, Sherman.
    Standing with you sir.

    Walk The High Country

    Pain and suffering are an ascent into high country
    The reaches above the timber
    Where terrestrial reality is changed

    The path is rocky and treacherous
    And progress is slow
    And the altitude labors our breath

    But at this elevation things and meanings are changed
    And NOTHing is ever the same again

    This high country is where God carves sayings in stone
    Its where we see Him face to face
    Its where Christ himself was Transfigured

    Its all an eternal mystery
    The substance being revealed in this wild, fearful wilderness

    Embrace The Mystery

    You’ll not lose this battle
    One way or another.

    Fernando Alejandro

  6. Daniel, I want to let you know that I have many friends via social media who are praying for you, as well as Dick and I. Much love!

  7. Dear Daniel
    Praying for you, your family, doctors, nurses and lab crew.
    Hang in there our big guy! Fight not the tube:) Dr. Ade will swing by. Love you much.
    Mrs Adesanya

  8. I love you, Daniel. I’ve been reading your blog and thoughts. Even when across the world in May, I learned of your failing left lung. Godfather Victor and I have been saying DM Chaplets as soon as we received your request. Sunday, June 14th, all 4 Savellis were in town, attended 12:30 mass St. Monica, held hands and offered prayer and all our communions for you, dear one. In addition, today, I won my tennis match(with my prayer warrior Tahitian tennis partner) for you- every stroke, every serve, remembering your love of the sport. Every thought today, since Ms. Mecca notified me of the start of preparations by phone call (the one time my phone wasn’t on silence during an office day!) at 1:19pm, if unoccupied by a patient before me, every thought for you., and many prayers all day. All my personal prayer warriors, people you don’t know but who are fervent in belief and faithful in practice, were activated. Every inspiration, every expiration, purposeful, cleansing, healing, and mindful.
    May the Holy Spirit fill your faithful heart, mind, and lungs . Amen.

  9. Daniel,

    I don’t know you, but want you to know that you are in my prayers. I prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for you before your operation and will pray another for your recovery. Your strength and courage are an inspiration.

    God bless.

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