Dear Family and Friends,
I wanted to personally thank everyone that has contributed to my Fund Raiser and let you know how things are going now. We are truly grateful to the donor and the family that lost a loved one. We pray for peace and comfort of the donor family in knowing how many lives have been touched from their gift of life. We heard that the donor was able to help 9 people! I am, and others as well, alive today due to their generosity! Please consider giving the gift of life.
My double lung transplant surgery was a great success and the new lungs are working perfectly. However, I face a long road to recovery due to an open lung biopsy surgery back in September 2012, and declining health two years pre transplant along with the weeks and days leading up to my recent surgery. I was intubated and put on paralytic medication for eight days prior to surgery and as a result have nerve damage in my left hand, right foot, diaphragm, esophagus and paralyzed vocal cords. I also had a feeding tube placed in my stomach and was not able to eat or drink anything or speak for the last five months. I go back to UTSW weekly for various forms of therapy and was just able to begin eating again last week after having my vocal cords injected with a filler to help the cords meet. The injections are only a temporary measure. The next suggested procedure would be surgical to install a wedge through my neck and into my voice box if the left cord does not begin to move on its own in the next few months.
Still, I am very excited about the future and working hard everyday on getting stronger and regaining my strength. I have had a couple of falls since returning home, one of them sent me back to the hospital for a week! So my family now insists that I use my walker to help while I work on my balance and coordination. I finally agree! Time and therapy should be very helpful. Please know that your generosity has and will continue to help with my ever-mounting medical expenses.
Words cannot express how grateful I am as is my entire family. Thank you for your prayers and support. My journey continues and I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for being with me every step of the way. God bless you all and please do stay in touch. I love hearing from you!
Sincerely, Gary Tole
August 21, 2014 5-Month Transplant Anniversary