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Double lung transplant recipient credits life to donor

TUCSON — Arizonans gave back in a big way last year. According to the Donor Network of Arizona organ donors in Arizona had another record-breaking year with the most organ and tissue donations.

News 4 Tucson spoke with one Tucson woman who is an organ donor recipient.

“I was taking a shower one day and I couldn’t breathe in the shower. My lips turned blue, my fingernails turned blue. So my daughter called the ambulance took me to the hospital and that started my journey on oxygen,” Tracy Cromwell said.

Cromwell was on oxygen for three years disabling her from grocery shopping and daily chores.

In January of 2018, she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and told she needed a double lung transplant.

“It’s pulmonary fibrosis and I don’t think I had much time left. So I’m very grateful to have the second chance at life,” Cromwell said.

That second chance happened 22 days later when she was called and told they had a donor match.

“I was excited. I was happy but I was sad at the same time you know because I knew that my happiness went hand in hand with someone elses sadness,” Cromwell said.

Since receiving her double lung transplant she’s been able to enjoy things she wasn’t able to do without oxygen. Getting a chance to take her grandkids to the park. A moment enjoyed all because someone gave her the gift of life.

“Pray for my donors family every day. My family prays for my donors family every day. They’re just amazing to give a gift of life and you know it just lets you know that all things are possible,” Cromwell said.

According to Donor Network of Arizona, 779 peoples lives were saved thanks to 283 Arizona organ donors last year.  Those donors all taking the time to register to be a donor.

“Only 1 percent of people will actually go onto becoming life saving organ donors,” Nico Santos Donor Network of Arizona Media Relations Coordinator said, “We invite the entire public to register themselves so that there is that much more options out there to save lives.”

For more information on how to become an organ donor click here.

Charity Freeman

Charity Freeman

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