Age has no limit when it comes to a new chance on life.
Donald Malone, who celebrates his 80th birthday this July, had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Although the lung disease interferes with a person’s ability to breath, Malone always kept himself in exceptional physical shape.
Even with his good health, many other healthcare facilities may have immediately turned Malone down for lung transplant consideration simply based on his age. Our caregivers looked past this number and evaluated his condition.
“Cleveland Clinic’s lung transplant group has always taken pride in evaluating and transplanting the most complicated cases,” says Dr. Budev. “We don’t set an upper age limit for transplant; instead, we evaluate physiological function. Older patients can benefit from transplants for many years, too.”
“My caregivers were truly fighting for me — they were and are on my side... Organ donation saved my life. I can breathe again. Without this, I would be a goner.”
Malone — the father of one of our physicians — is doing well, driving himself where he needs to go, playing cards every Wednesday night and is eager for the spring weather so he can get back out on his bicycle.
“My caregivers were truly fighting for me — they were and are on my side. They don’t care how much time it takes to help; they get me whatever I need,” says Malone. “Organ donation saved my life. I can breathe again. Without this, I would be a goner.”
His son, Donald Malone, Jr., MD, Psychiatry and Psychology, said he was overwhelmed with caregivers’ responsiveness to his family’s needs.
“My father’s care has been extraordinary,” says Dr. Malone. “Lung transplant is a long process with many ups and downs. Transplant patients and their families need to be ready for that. That being said, it clearly saved my father’s life, giving him more time with us.”
“You can donate money and time to many charities, but only through organ donation can you save up to eight lives,” says Dr. Budev.
“It helped going in to know that I had the best on my side. The team was, and continues to be, there for me. Eight years out, and they are still there for me. It hasn’t been an easy process, but with a positive attitude and sticking to doctor’s orders, I’ve never felt better in my life.”
“Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but when I sat down with Dr. Schauer, I knew it was going to be different. He was the only doctor who ever told me he wouldn’t just do surgery. He said I needed to be educated as to all aspects of what surgery would entail.”
“She knows the brain better than anybody else, as far as I’m concerned. She understands how I’m stuck with these medications and continues to help me search every avenue, including endocrinology and functional medicine.”