After Disease Claims Lungs, A New Life Begins With Care Center's Expert Help

03.01.2012

All of these diseases are interconnected. With the center, we can share resources. We have a critical mass of doctors, nurses, dieticians and social workers who can closely follow our patients.

-- David Weill, MD, director, Stanford Center for Advanced Lung Disease

As Julian's disease progressed, an oxygen tank became her constant companion. With each passing month, she could do less and needed more oxygen. Since her transplant, Julian has few restrictions on what she can do. She flies, and golfs, bikes, scuba dives and hikes.

Kelly O'Dea, Julian's flying instructor, is another admirer of what Julian's doctor, Glenn Rosen, calls Julian's unique attitude. "She looks at setbacks as challenges, tries new things and lives life to the fullest. She's a great example of someone who is passionate about wanting to enjoy her life."

THE LUNG: FROM ILLNESS TO TRANSPLANT

• Interstitial lung diseases can be unpredictable. Their symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

• Symptoms can include shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness, dry cough, labored breathing, chest discomfort, fatigue and weakness.

• What causes such illnesses remains under study. Environment, however, can play a major role. Family history, radiation and some medications can also contribute.

• Diagnosis may include pulmonary function tests, bronchoscopy, blood tests, X-rays or CT scans.

• Treatment choices can be influenced by age, overall health, extent of the disease and tolerance of medication.

• According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, about 1,800 lung transplants took place in the US in 2010. Stanford Hospital performs between 50 and 60 lung transplants annually, which places it in the top 10 for lung transplant volume.

• Of the 30 heart-lung transplants in the US, eight were done at Stanford. The average waiting time for a lung transplant at Stanford is between 45-90 days; the national average is nine months.

• Potential donors must be 18. Registration is available online at Donate Life California, or when renewing or obtaining a California Drivers License or California ID card. There are no disqualifying age or health condition requirements to register.

The last thing I said to the team was, 'I have the utmost confidence in you guys,' and I'll see you on the flip side.

-Jennifer Julian, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics

A lot of people don't get second chances. I did.

-Jennifer Julian, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Julian has made her first solo flight, but has a ways to go before she'll earn her pilot's license from federal officials – there are few transplant patients who've been granted approval, but Weill and Rosen are on her side.

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