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Betsy's Story

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Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Like most grandmothers, Betsy adores her family. Blessed with two granddaughters and two grandsons, she’s always there to root them on. “I like to go to their games, they’re into softball, soccer, football and hockey — anything with a ball,” she says.

However, a few years ago when Betsy started experiencing shortness of breath, she had to slow down her previously active lifestyle.

At first, she thought it may have been pneumonia, but after a visit to the ER, Betsy was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Her local doctor suggested she make an appointment to see a lung specialist at the Temple Lung Center.

“I knew from the first appointment, Temple was the best place for my care,” she says. As Betsy’s IPF continued to progress, she was told she needed a lung transplant. Betsy began the evaluation process, and was listed for lung transplantation.

In the spring of 2013, Betsy received the call that a suitable donor was identified. “My prayers were answered,” she says. Betsy received a double lung transplant which was performed by Yoshiya Toyoda, MD, PhD, Surgical Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at Temple University Hospital.

“Well, first and foremost, I think that Dr. Toyoda is an exceptional surgeon,” Betsy shares.  “I’ve got these extra years now, and I hope many more thanks to this fabulous doctor at Temple. Dr. Toyoda is just amazing. There is not a day that passes that I am not grateful.”

Mary Beth, Betsy’s daughter, shares her sentiments. “There was not a better place for us to be. Temple really cares about how everybody’s doing — not only the patient who had the transplant, but their family too.” From the start of her treatment at Temple, Betsy says she felt self-assured. “I had confidence in all the doctors and nurses, and my whole lung transplant team,” she explained. “I knew they cared about me and I just think the whole Temple organization, anybody you talk to, is caring and helpful. I felt like a person and not just a patient.”

Mary Beth shares that one of the best results is that her mother is self-reliant again. “She is out on her own, doing stuff by herself,” shares Mary Beth. “A good part about getting this transplant is she doesn’t need to rely on anybody else and she’s enjoying her life.”

Since her double lung transplant, Betsy is enjoying life to the fullest. “I can’t believe the things I can do,” says Betsy. “I do things now that I never did in my whole life. I walk four miles a day which — I would have never done that.”