Gaining a New Life with New LungsPosted on 04/18/2019

If you have recently been to the Portsmouth SOMC LIFE Center on a Saturday morning, you might have seen Terry Dever on the pickleball court.

Looking at Terry now as he runs around the court, you might not realize what he went through just a few short months ago: a double lung transplant.

Nearing those few weeks before his surgery, Terry said he didn’t think he would have lived much longer.

Then a miracle happened. Just three days after being placed on the organ donation waiting list, Terry received the call that changed everything: he had been matched with a donor!

On Dec. 14, 2018, Terry’s life was changed forever as he underwent surgery to receive the gift of two new lungs.

Terry went through surgery like a champion. Just a few days after surgery, he was sitting up in a chair and taking laps around the floor in the hospital.

After originally being told he would be at the hospital and have to stay near the hospital upon release for 12 weeks, Terry was determined to get home sooner. His ambition led him to being in the hospital for just two weeks, and he only had to stay in Columbus for an additional two weeks after his hospital stay.

Today, Terry said he truly feels like a new man.

His family can attest to him living a new life, as well. His daughter, Megan Mckenzie, recalled the moment it truly dawned on her that her dad was now able to live the life he had dreamed of living. Before his surgery, he had to park at the top of Megan’s hill to be closer to the door, because walking up the hill was a difficult task for him. That first day he came over to her house after he returned home, he parked at the bottom of the hill. She asked him if he was able to walk up the hill.

“That was the moment it hit me. He parked and I just remember him sprinting up the hill, it was such a surreal and amazing experience that I will never forget,” Megan said.

Along with leading the life he wanted to live with his family, he remained diligent to gaining strength in rehab at SOMC, which he has already completed. He praises the team for helping him gain strength, strength he hasn’t felt for so long.

“I feel better than normal,” he said.

2019 has been a transformative year for Terry all because someone gave him the gift of life through organ donation. We celebrate him and all the other patients who have received these precious gifts during Donate Life Month. We also honor and cherish those who have given the gift of life.

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