When Tim Cox walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding, the family also celebrated Tim’s remarkable journey and recovery following a double lung transplant and a stroke.
The 59-year-old pastor from North Carolina was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and his lungs had filled with scar tissue.
When medicines failed, Tim was put on the transplant waiting list at Cleveland Clinic.
“At that point he was quite, quite short of breath and was even having difficulty performing daily activities of living on his own,” says Marie Budev, DO, MPH, Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation.
Six months later, he received the lungs he had been waiting for, but his journey was far from over – just ten days after the transplant, Tim suffered a stroke.
“My whole right side was paralyzed and I just didn’t believe it,” says Tim.
Tim learned of his daughter’s engagement while he was in the hospital. Determined to walk his daughter down the aisle, he underwent rigorous physical therapy and 10 months later did just that.
“I was able to experience one of the highlights of being a Dad, and my highlight of walking your daughter down the aisle — there was not a dry eye basically.”
“I was able to experience one of the highlights of being a Dad, and my highlight of walking your daughter down the aisle — there was not a dry eye basically,” recalls Tim.
Without his donor lungs, Tim’s walk would not have been possible, and his family honored the donor family on that special day.
“We burned a candle up front on the stage in loving memory and appreciation for our donor family,” says Tim.
It’s been a long road recovering in Cleveland, and Tim Cox and his wife are ready to move on.
“Tim’s future looks bright, I’m so happy to say! We’re excited because he’s going to be returning home,” says Dr. Budev.
“Whatever happens I know is going to happen for my best,” says Cox. “We just don’t take life for granted and the specialness of life.”