Kathie Lee & Hoda: Howard Romanoff’s Double Lung Transplant
Howard Romanoff was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2007 and was told that the disease would make his lungs stop functioning within three to five years, at which point he would require a lung transplant in order to breathe. The prognosis was right, because when 2011 rolled around, Howard had been on oxygen on an almost 24-hour basis for four years. He was put on the waiting list, and the anticipation built as Howard wondered if he would receive the life-saving double-lung transplant in time.
Thankfully, in October 2011, Howard’s wait was over, getting his double-lung transplant done in New York Presbyterian Hospital. After being on one of these waiting lists, Howard’s eyes were opened to the thousands of unlucky ones that were on the waiting list for more time than their diseases would grant them. In New York alone, 10,000 people on waiting for an organ transplant. With 18 to 20 people dying every day due to organ shortage, it was clear that there was something that needed to be done about the low number of available organ donors.
Today Show: Share Life NY Initiative
In response to the organ-shortage epidemic, Howard Romanoff started the “Share Life” initiative, in order to educate others on just how important being an organ donor can be. One human, for example, can save up to eight lives with their organs, and with someone being added to the waiting list every 20 minutes, it is clear that this is a problem. With information like that getting out there, Howard is hoping to help get other the life-saving tissue and organ transplants that they need. Get the full rundown at SharelifeNY.org.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Waiting For An Organ
Today, Howard will reach the two-year anniversary of his transplant, and though the array of medications he has been on since the operation have created a lot of ups and down, right now, Howard feels really great. As the montage video played during Howard’s story showed, treatment for his disease had a lot of unpleasant side-effects.
For Howard’s children, the waiting game they had to play in seeing if their father would get a transplant was difficult. There was a lot that they couldn’t control, so they took as much power as they could into their own hands and spent as much time as they could together, most of which was spent in the hospital. With the array of difficult treatments they had to see their father go through, the whole experience was both physically and emotionally draining.