Robert Sayre

First post: Sep 26, 2019 Latest post: May 20, 2020
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Bob was diagnosed with Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2015… meaning his lungs are scaring for an undetermined reason, with no cure, ultimately causing death.  His prognosis at that time was two to five years.  We traveled to MAYO in Rochester, where they confirmed the diagnosis.  In 2017, we grew concerned about Bob turning 70 in two years -70 being the average age cutoff for lung transplants.  We asked our local pulmonologist to make a referral and in 2017 Bob became a patient of UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC. 

UNC thought it might be possible to find the cause and stop the progression of the disease.  Tests and experimentation with drugs began.  Although the drugs made him sick, we had hope and a welcome reprieve from the dire diagnosis.  Unfortunately, UNC was not successful.  By spring of 2019 Bob was rapidly declining.  In May we started UNC transplant classes and Bob’s qualification tests.  By July of 2019 Bob was using oxygen 24/7.

In August, with all tests completed, UNC believed Bob was eligible for their transplant list.  We made plans to relocate to Chapel Hill for the surgery and recovery.  However, when the team met for approval, he was denied. 

The news was a low point.  Several days passed before we received a call from UNC that they had found a surgeon at Duke who thought he could successfully perform the surgery.  Three weeks later, on September 18th and 19th we met with the Duke Lung Transplant Team in Durham, NC.

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