In 2018, Sue Kirkland was diagnosed with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a type of lung disease that results in scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs for an unknown reason. Over time, the scarring gets worse and it becomes hard to take in a deep breath and the lungs cannot take in enough oxygen.
Sue and her family were given a very scary prognosis.
There is no cure for IPF.
The average life expectancy of someone with pulmonary fibrosis is three to five years.
She would need a double lung transplant and quickly, as this was the only way she could survive.
This was no easy process. Over many months, a very long set of diagnostic tests were administered to make sure Sue could be a candidate for this badly needed transplant. These tests covered everything from rejection precautions, chest x-rays, high resolution lung CTs, lung function tests, arterial blood gas tests, exercise monitoring, and finally biopsies of her lungs.
Sue passed all of the rigorous tests with flying colors and was put on a priority lung transplant list. On December 20th of 2018 the family got a call that would change Sue's and their lives. There was a set of donor lungs ready at her hospital for her.
Sue got a double lung transplant!
However, this was only the beginning. Shortly after the transplant, she contracted Legionnaire's Disease and has had several infections. There were times when the family didn't know if she would pull through. Sue has survived many complications, but is still in the ICU after returning from her first record setting run in the ICU at the University of Virginia Transplant Center & Program.
Her husband Rick, and the rest of the family have been working with UVA consistently and constantly to assist in getting Sue well again.
The time and travel to Charlottesville have worn heavily on Sue, our dad and the rest of the family. Sue is not able to work. Rick can work only minimally as he is providing around the clock care for Sue in and out of the hospital.
Now there is a need for funds to help Sue and the family. These donations will help with hospital stays, services that are not covered by insurance, travel, lodging and necessary income while Sue and Rick are not able to work.
Sue and the family would very much appreciate any help you could offer. We are all facing a very large and unexpected medical crisis. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.