The breath of life is something Louis Frost never takes for granted.
“I’m grateful — to God, and to the young woman whose lung I received,” he said.
Frost, 50, received a lung transplant a decade ago, and he’s still breathing strong.
“I have a little trouble on damp days, things start to tighten up, but I’m just fine,” he said.
Frost was a working man most of his life, making his living in construction. When he fell ill with fibrosis in 1996, it hurt his spirit.
“I was used to making a living for my family, and when I couldn’t work it really bothered me,” he said.
Doctors put Frost on a regimen of steroids. He continued that regimen for nearly six years. It took it’s toll on him. Frost lost a tremendous amount of weight and became very weak.
In the meantime, Frost’s short-term disability at work ran out, and his wife, Bernice, had a hard time getting him government benefits. A 30-day supply of his medicine cost $3,000.
“It was just a terrible ordeal,” said Bernice.
In 2002 doctors put Frost on a transplant list, but these things don’t happen overnight. Then, in early 2003, Frost got the call he’d been waiting for.
“I was very sad to hear that a young woman in Alabama lost her life,” said Frost, but her family decided to donate her organs.
The blood type and size of the young woman’s lung were a match for Frost.
Frost received his new lung on Feb. 21, 2003, at the hospital in Alabama.
The days and weeks after the surgery weren’t easy. He was in excruciating pain. His medication sometimes caused him to act in a bizarre manner. Frost was living in a townhouse near the hospital while his wife was back in Grenada working, and he had to learn to take care of himself, even in the midst of his pain.