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Double-lung transplant saves Temecula father's life

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A Temecula man is now breathing easier thanks to an amazing operation that saved his life and his family. (KABC)

A Temecula man is now breathing easier thanks to an amazing operation that saved his life and his family.

Air is now moving freely through 43-year-old Jeffrey Garwick's brand new lungs.

Over the years, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a condition similar to coal miner's lung, was scarring and destroying Garwick's airways.

The Temecula resident went to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center not knowing where his next breath would come from.

"It's a feeling of suffocation. It's that feeling that you're underwater, and you want to get to the surface and you can't get to the surface," said Dr. David Ross of the medical center.

Garwick's lung function dropped to 29 percent, and doctor's predicated he only had a little over a year to live. His only option was a double-lung transplant.

"I know I wanted to live life so, you know, I said, 'Let's do it,'" Garwick said with a smile.

Days before Garwick went on the transplant list, he married his high school sweetheart, Alisa, and officially became dad to her daughters, 16-year-old Brianna and 10-year-old Ciara.

The girls cried tears of relief as they've been through every emotion.

Jeffrey Garwick's old lungs looked riddled with scarring, but his new lungs, filled with air, are an always-present reminder of the organ donor and the donor's family.

"I'd love the opportunity to meet them and just tell them how grateful we are for, in the gift of life, what they gave him," said wife Alisa Garwick.

Ross said there are still far few donors for the number of patients waiting in line for the same operation.

As for Jeffrey Garwick, his Father's Day wish was granted.

"His first Father's Day with his new lungs, a new life," Alisa Garwick added. "So it would be hard to top this Father's Day."
Related Topics:
healthtransplanthealthy livingfamilymedical researchWestwoodLos Angeles CountyTemeculaRiverside County
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