In 2007, Keith Chalmers noticed something was wrong. The once-active forklift operator and church deacon could barely even take his daughter to school without struggling to breathe.
After visiting a specialist, Keith was diagnosed with a variety of lung issues, including COPD, bronchitis and emphysema. Despite trying many treatments over seven years, his condition gradually worsened. Finally, in 2014, he called his sister to ask for help. “I felt so weak and sick … I didn’t know what to do.”
But the Wilkes-Barre resident’s story is one of hope and resilience. Thanks to the generosity of a donor hero and their family, Keith received a life-saving lung transplant that helped him regain his strength and energy.
Post-transplant, he not only could play tag with his daughter and return to helping his church, but he set his sights on spreading the news about the importance of organ donation.
“I tell people that they can live on and save the lives of others who are very sick. I really believe that people aren’t educated about organ donation,” Keith said. “After my transplant, I decided that one of my goals in life would be to spread the message that organ donors save lives.”
This Healthy Lung Month, we want to celebrate Keith’s journey and highlight the incredible impact of organ donation.