Working on a dream: New lungs and a new life

Hi, my name is Kristi. It all started back in September of 2008, when, after carrying full term, I lost my daughter the day before she was delivered. There was an infection of unknown origin, and I was in the hospital for about three weeks. I had a fever that wouldn’t go away, so they kept pumping me full of every antibiotic they had. They decided they wanted to do exploratory surgery, which in my mind are two words that should never go together. I said no and asked to be transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina. There, they took me off all antibiotics and my fever miraculously disappeared. My body had a reaction to all the medications. Several months later, I started experiencing some trouble breathing while exercising. I thought that I was just out of shape, but that was not the issue. After seeing several doctors and trying different things, I requested a test that later diagnosed my pulmonary sarcoidosis, which is an inflammatory disease that causes granulomas in the lungs that impede breathing. It goes away on its own or can be a lifelong struggle. In my case, 14 years later, it seems to be getting worse.

Over the years I have put it in remission a couple of times with different protocols, supplements, and diet. These things worked great for a short time, but then my body adapted to them and they no longer have the same effect.

In 2019, I believe I had COVID before it even had a name. I was down for weeks. My lungs never quite recovered from that. In 2020, I was stuck at home with nothing to do so I rediscovered my passion for music after 25+ years. Since that time I have been learning guitar all over again, writing songs, and recording them. I released my very first album in September 2022, with the next one almost complete. I had decided to pursue this lifelong dream so I could leave something behind.

Right now, I am starting the process to get on the lung transplant list, a double lung transplant. To do this, I will need to relocate to Durham, NC to be close to Duke Hospital. I will not only have medical bills to pay but the moving expenses, hiring a 24/7 caretaker, and whatever else this journey will take. I am utterly terrified and very excited all at the same time.

I’ve been blessed to be able to do what I love, but I also want to really live my life to the fullest. I want to be able to go out, go for long walks again, go out to dinner without having to plan how I’m going to get there with my oxygen machine, find someone to help me, and do everything else I have to do. I want to walk to my mailbox without having to stop multiple times to catch my breath. Doing simple household chores or even just taking a shower takes so much effort and so much oxygen. I guess you don’t think about it until you experience it. Take nothing, I mean nothing, for granted.

I’m ready for this transplant. I’m ready to get my life back. I’m ready to breathe again. I am ready to continue my musical journey. But I need your help.

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Kristi Jacques
Conway, SC

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