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John was first diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in January 2013. This means scarring of the lungs with cause unknown and no known cure. Scarring continues and ultimately reduces the volume and transfer of oxygen. Post diagnosis John continued to pursue the things he enjoys such as travel, playing guitar, daily trips to Caribou, etc. John was prescribed Ofev in January 2017 - which was designed to slow the progression. During the summer of 2018, his lung function was reduced enough that he was struggling to do small things without oxygen. At his last check-up, the doctor asked if John would like to be placed on the lung transplant list. The answer was "Yes" and as of September 10, he was on the official list.
John and Melinda received a phone call late on Tuesday, September 25 that a lung was available and a "good match". They were prepared, packed up their bags and headed to the University of Minnesota Medical Center. John received one healthy lung on Thursday, September 26. One lung requires a less invasive surgery and with reduced recovery time and discomfort. He will be in the hospital for a couple weeks, with additional weeks spent near the hospital following discharge. John will require 24/7 care for many months to come and the first year post transplant will be critical.