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UNC Health Care

Family House Diaries | Kena Sawyers

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Kena Sawyers received her first transplant on Sept. 20, 2009, at UNC Hospitals after living 15 years with lungs scarred by pneumonia secondary to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) she contracted when pregnant with her daughter, Kayla. Kena was featured in Family House Diaries that December (http://news.unchealthcare.o...).

Despite taking good care of those first new lungs, Kena still had to rely on oxygen 24/7. Her lung health deteriorated, and by September 2013, she again found herself on the lung transplant list. Her overall health worsened, causing her to become too sick for a transplant, and she was removed from the list for two weeks in October. But in March 2014, she received a second double-lung transplant and new lease on life.

"It's the first time in 20 years I haven't needed an oxygen tank to breathe," said Sawyers of Eden, N.C., in Rockingham County. "It's really hard to put into words what that freedom feels like. I can tell you it feels really good, and it was worth the wait." Show less
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Monthly video series showing doctors in a different light than how their patients know them. Some are cancer specialists, some are lung doctors. Even more they are figure ice skaters, accomplished pianists and mega athletes.
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