Taking Flight: Inspirational Stories of Lung Transplantation
About the Book
Lung Transplantation is still relatively new compared to other transplantation surgery. The first successful heart/lung transplant took place in 1981, with the first successful single lung transplant taking place in 1983. It was not until 1986 the first successful double lung transplant takes place. Even more recent is the living lobar transplant which the first successful one being in 1990. The survival rate continues to rise with the introduction of new surgery techniques, drug therapies and physical therapy.
Often those given the option to have a lung transplant, have no place to turn and learn about the success and accomplishments of those receiving a single lung, double lung, or heart/lung transplant. It can become overwhelming being in the process of lung transplant and not hearing how the majority of people do afterward. Well the majority are out living very full lives.
These lives include, school, play, marriage, adventure, sports, careers, travel, volunteering, retirement and enjoying life and breathing. Family life is enhanced and new exciting opportunities open many eyes. But where can you read about this new beginning, new life, new breath you are given? Well, until now, there was no place. So that has changed with this book.
Taking Flight is a collection of stories from around the world, from recipients of all ages, all lung illnesses and what these recipients are now doing in their lives. Taking Flight is an opportunity to see that organ donation does work and that lives return to normal after surgery. Taking Flight can inspire those who pre transplant to see what they may be able to accomplish one day. It will bring to light that this is a great option for someone with end stage lung illness and your dreams are possible. For someone who has had a lung transplant, it is an inspiration to see others doing many of things you are now accomplishing yourself. An affirmation of sorts.
The butterfly theme is a symbol to those who have had a lung transplant and experienced the life within them and around them opening up and taking off. Many of these stories tell of a life long lung condition that did not allow them to take off into life like so many others do. But now they can and they take every opportunity that is given to them to go out and experience life. It shows that the very young are able to run, play, go to school, and do the things they dreamed of. It allows young people to pursue their dreams of a career, or marriage and finally making that much desired pursuit of a goal, a reality. For those who are retired, it allows them to spend time with family, friends, travel and become active once again.
Taking Flight is a starting point for those who are, considering lung transplant, or have had a lung transplant. From here you will soar and surprise, grow and learn, experience and share, while you breathe and spread your wings and fly.
Click here to read about Karen Couture's LUNG TRANSPLANTATION HANDBOOKShirley Jewett's I CALL MY NEW LUNG TINA: INSPIRATION FROM A TRANSPLANT SURVIVOR
About the Author
Joanne Marie Schum is the youngest of seven siblings of George and Katherine Schum. Growing up in the Rochester, New York area with Cystic Fibrosis (a genetic lung illness), Joanne led a rather normal life, attending college, working in her chosen career field and being with friends and family.
As she reached her mid twenties, life became increasingly more difficult until it was nearly impossible to maneuver and have any quality in her life. That is when a lung transplant became the top priority in her life. She temporarily relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina while waiting for a bi-lateral lung transplant. She received her much anticipated transplant at the University of North Carolina Hospitals Chapel Hill, on September 12, 1997. Her lung transplant has allowed her to become involved with many organizations: volunteering as a speaker; writing for various Cystic Fibrosis and lung transplant newsletters; board member; and mentor.
Never an athlete in her pre-transplant days, she has taken to biking, running, walking, swimming and a participant in the 2000 and 2002 United States Transplant Games. She no longer passes up an adventure and can be found driving tractors, motorbikes, and has also flown in a High Performance Schleicher ASK-21 Sailplane. Her continued great health will allow her many more days with her new "wings of breath" so she can travel, work, play and enjoy her family and friends.