Having a chronic illness can wear on a person. It’s like sandpaper slowly shifting back and forth, grating on all that you experience.
And therein lies the worst part about a chronic illness: It never goes away.
Well, perhaps a better way to say it is to add that it almost never goes away. As Yahoo! Lifestyle has reported, at least one Hines, Illinois, man was able to at least partially escape his long-term illness thanks to one incredible Christmas present.
Kevin D’Agostino was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects a whole host of organs. Although most associate it with lung trouble, it also affects the liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines.
According to the National Institutes’ of Health Genetics Home Reference, it “used to be considered a fatal disease of childhood.” Now people with the disease can live longer lives, but there’s no known cure.
However, a lung transplant usually helps people who suffer from cystic fibrosis. And though other organs are still affected by the disease, they can quite literally breathe easier after receiving new lungs.
D’Agostino understands the challenges of the illness. His sister Julie also had it and died from it.
But on Dec. 5, he got wonderful news from his family. His brother Mike recorded his reaction when his mother approached him with it.
“You’re getting new lungs, Kevin,” she says, and you can practically hear the smile in her voice. A bewildered Kevin, who had a blanket tucked up under his arms and an oxygen cannula in his nostrils, peers confusedly at the camera.
His mother repeats the injunction, and he murmurs, “Tonight?” Then he vaults upright and shouts, “No way! No way, Mom! Not tonight!”
As her voice takes on a tearful tone, his mother insists, “Kevin, they called. You’re getting new lungs.”
His father, who is also in the room, adds, “Not tonight, this morning. It’s three o’clock in the morning.”
D’Agostino did indeed go on to get new lungs that very day, and the procedure proved completely successful. “Kevin D. has already been cruising around the nurses’ station one day after a double lung transplant,” his brother wrote on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Thank you for the outpouring of love and support, Kevin D has already been cruising around the nurses station 1 day after a double lung transplant…..almost unheard of! He is feeling less pain and even more comfortable as the time goes on. All signs point to a smooth recovery. The entire hospital staff, from the doctors to the respiratory therapists to the nurses are raving about how PERFECT Kevin’s new lungs are….we are so thankful and happy for Kevin and grateful to the selfless generosity of the donor family. #donatelife #organdonor #giftofhope #kevind #fighter #lungs #transplant #gettingstronger
“He is feeling less pain and even more comfortable as the time goes on. All signs point to a smooth recovery.”
However, in the midst of their rejoicing, the D’Agostinos did something very important. They paused to recognize the lost life that gave Kevin a chance at a new one.
“We also want to keep in mind the donor’s family,” Mike D’Agostino wrote on Facebook. “We appreciate their gift and are thinking of them during their time of mourning.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.