My name is Tracy Watson. I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 5. Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. During my teenage years, I was faced with more digestive issues. My parents were told I would not live to be a teenager but I beat those odds.
During my teenage years, I developed some lung infections. I would be hospitalized 1 to 2 times a year to clear my lungs. During those stays, I would receive IV antibiotics for 2 weeks. Eventually, I was taught to give my own antibiotics at home. I did not let my illness hold me back from living life.
I graduated high school, and attended Morehead State University and was able to live on campus. I received a bachelor degree in Education. I became a special education teacher and held a teaching job for 15 years. In 2011 my illness became more severe. In November 2011 I was placed on a lung transplant list. By 2012 I was hospitalized more frequently and my lung function was at 17%. I was not able to work any longer and needed oxygen 24/7
On November 14, 2014 I received the call that would change my life. This would be my third call for new lungs. The first 2 calls, the lungs were not good. I arrived at the hospital, and after waiting 5-6 hours, I was told these lungs are for you. My surgery lasted 12 to 13 hours. It was not easy going for me or my family. Thankfully within 2 hours, I was taken off the ventilator and woke up. My family and friends had endured a stressful night. My strength comes from them and god. They were there to support me through my most difficult days. I feel very blessed and know god has his arms around me. I certainly don’t go one day without thinking about my donor. I have been given the greatest gift one can receive. I hope to make the donor family proud of the difficult decision they were given on that painful day.
I breathe easy now, and will be eternally grateful for this gift. Please don’t hesitate to give the greatest gift one can give. In one breath, a moment lost. In one moment, a miracle shared.
Be a Hero. Be an Organ donor.