Man with rare lung condition receives double lung transplant

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jan 30, 2020

Sara Clevenger says she's thankful for the gift of life her father, Jerry Greenhoe, received through Spectrum Health.

His wife, Michiele Greenhoe, says she remembers her husband being in disbelief when they received the phone call informing them his double lung transplant would soon become a reality.

"First, I'd like to start off by thanking the donor and his family for the generosity especially during such a difficult time," Clevenger said.

FOX 17 first met Greenhoe in February of 2018. He told us about his rare lung condition called bronchiectasis. Greenhoe says he was diagnosed in 2011.

In February 2018, he told FOX 17 that "heat and humidity and the cold weather changes makes it real difficult to breath. Some days I don't even venture outside."

At the time, friends and family prepared to hold a bake sale and benefit dinner to cover the cost of medications for after the transplant. Clevenger says they met their goal. But also at that time, they didn't know when he'd finally need to put that money to use.

Clevenger said it took "lots of doctors appointments, many many tests" and lots of waiting to get to this point. Sunday, Greenhoe underwent a 9.5-hour surgery.

His daughter says the 55-year-old was moved from the ICU to a regular room.

"He's doing very very well. Eighteen hours after the transplant he was off of the ventilator. Everyday he's getting stronger, and yesterday he got to eat and drink," Clevenger explained.

She added, "He's walking around his room now."

Michiele Greenhoe said, "I'm still excited. When he came out of the surgery, and we got to see him he was breathing normal."

It's the seemingly simple things we easily take for granted. Clevenger says her father is looking to go home ASAP and already has a list of things he wants to enjoy including hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his grandkids.

"Just being outdoors," she said.

The family also thanked the transplant coordinator, and the medical staff at Spectrum Health. His daughter says as he heals the focus will be on protecting his health while his immune system strengthens.