Meet the longest living lung transplant survivor
Doctors gave Pam Everett-Smith four to five years to live after a lung transplant. She wasn't sure she would live to see her niece and nephew grow up or even grow old with her husband. But, she did.
Pam Everett-Smith considers it a miracle that shes still here today.
Pam Everett-Smith, Lung Transplant Recipient says, "Here I was in my 20s; like no, I'm not ready to go."
Nearly 30 years ago, Pam started having health problems that continued to get worse.
Pam Everett-Smith says, "Having symptoms of shortness of breath and being tired and my lips turning blue and my hands turning blue."
Pam went to her doctor, and she eventually ended up at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. Doctors didn't give her a lot of options.
Pam Everett-Smith says, "They said the only chance I had was to have a lung transplant."
Doctors gave her four to five years to live after that lung transplant. She wasn't sure she would live to see her niece and nephew grow up or grow old with her husband.
But, she did.
Now, 26 years later Pam is the longest surviving single lung transplant patient in the country.
Pam Everett-Smith says, "So, I never forget my donor so I try to take really good care of the gift of my lungs."
There are currently more than 119,000 people across the country waiting for an organ transplant, with about 3,000 of them here in Tennessee.
Pam says she is living proof of why organ donation is so important.
Pam Everett-Smith says, "It gives a second chance at life, it's a gift of life."
One she will never take for granted.