From Mentorship To Marriage: A Lung Transplant Love Story

at Washington University’s center for
advanced medicine patients are inhaling
a second chance at
life here you’ll find the nation’s
oldest lung transplant program
transforming around 60 lives each year
we’ve reached a milestone of I think
2,00 probably about 2100 so far
54-year-old Gary Goble got his
transplant in 2002 born with cystic
fibrosis a progressive disease that
ravages lung function Goble is getting a
cake for his 30th birthday and I
couldn’t even blow out my candle so I
had my friends helped me blow out my
candle but just days after his
transplant lying in his hospital bed at
Barnes Jewish Hospital Gary coughed and
witnessed a small miracle you know they
have the hospital tray tables and there
was an empty um straw wrapper on it and
I ended up blowing the straw wrapper off
the table so now so when BJC started a
mentoring program for lung transplant
patients about 20 years ago that time
Gary was one of the first people to sign
up myself our surgeons our physicians
our nurses really can’t tell you what
it’s like to go through that what it’s
like to wake up on the ventilator what
it’s like to have that kind of pain what
it’s like to take those first steps and
that’s what patients want to
know little did Gary know that his
decision to become a mentor would not
only change his life but also the life
of another patient fighting the same
battle a woman named Carrie was also
living with cystic fibrosis she watched
her Health decline in college and then
get even worse it was scary I mean
you’re 25 learning life expectancies 25
I actually enjoy looking through this
Gary was her Mentor as she prepared for
her lung transplant we started emailing
regular and their connection was instant
we talked for 2 hours I think at least
on the first phone conversation I just
felt like I finally could relate to
somebody and felt understood and less
isolated it that it was just for me was
amazing so this is what I was just
talking about mentorship quickly
blossomed into friendship and then
something more just days after Carrie
successful transplant they took a leap
of faith 12 days after my transplant
that we officially began dating upon
approval from the transplant doctors I
‘s Newfound breath was both literal and
figurative I do recall the moment for me
when I was like oh my goodness like I
just took a deep breath and I’m
breathing on my own what do you enjoy
the most inspired by the support Sheed
get them to be a little more independent
Carrie decided to Pay It Forward by
becoming a mentor herself the mentoring
program is just such an amazing program
I would say 99% of the feedback we get
back is positive like patients are just
always so great ful that they had an
opportunity to meet somebody and that’s
just very rewarding married since 2005
Gary and car’s shared experience has
forged an unbreakable Bond I am still
grateful for waking up every morning and
waking up with him it’s wonderful to
have the love of my life beside me
somebody who understands what I’ve gone
through um that we can relate to that
and connect with that well you made me
smile for sure their story is a
testament to the power of resilience
empathy and the life-changing impact of
the BJC long transplant program one of
the things that has really driven me to
do this work is that continuity is being
able to see
patients um succeed go about
life and experience what everybody else
their age is able to go through and
that’s been very rewarding have you seen
Bernita a love story showcasing the
power of Hope and breathing life into
the promise of Second Chances

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