What comes to mind when we here to words, “we need to talk about transplant as an option?” To me I felt in my mind that this is the end stage of maybe not just my lungs, but of me, but it wasn’t. On June 22nd, 2018, I was given a second chance at life. A second chance to keep the legacy and memories of my donor alive.
Hello everyone, my name is Tyler Smith, I am 27 years old living with Cystic Fibrosis and received a double lung transplant a little under 5 years ago. I was diagnosed with CF at the age of 6 weeks old and I have an older brother, Chase, who is 28 also has CF. In 2015, I got engaged to the love of my life and we had our wedding date set for September 8th, 2018. Things were going great until around April/May of 2018. My health started to rapidly decline and my PFT’s plummeted into the low 20’s. We ended up having a sit down with my CF care team and my family and concluded that it was time to think about a transplant. We had to move up our wedding date to June 24th of 2018 because my team didn’t think I would make it to my wedding without a transplant. As the big day approached, my health was getting worse and worse. The day of our bridal shower, June 16th, I was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital for what I had hoped was a quick round of IV’s, but quickly turned into the fight of my life. As the next couple days went by my health was not improving and my PFT’s had dropped to 16% and my team, my family and I decided it was time to list for transplant. We had planned a bedside ceremony for June 23rd. But, on June 22nd at 2 am, I was blessed and was able to receive the gift of a double lung transplant from an amazing donor name Morgan Manion.
The surgery went swimmingly and was on my way home within a week of the surgery! Today, I am very proud to say that as of October 20th of 2018 I am happily married to the love of my life whom I have been together with for almost 15 years now. Our wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life, next to my transplant date that is.
Since my transplant I have had some many amazing opportunities thanks to organ donation such as becoming a father through IVF, we bought our dream house, and I started a career and I have a 5-year plan which is something I never had before because I never knew if I would make it to the next day. We have also become extremely close with the parents of my donor Morgan, and we even consider them as a third set of grandparents to our beautiful daughter Paisley Morgan Smith who is named in honor of their daughter. I am doing very well and am stoked to announce that my PFT’s are now around 100%. I could and would not be here today if it wasn’t for the amazing support system I have, the amazing medical advancements all my doctors and friends that I have made through CF and of course above all my donor and God!