PHOENIX — A man who received a double lung transplant at a Valley hospital has survived for five years since the procedure.
When Dick Jarrard, a 72-year-old rancher from Wheatland, Wyoming, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2008, doctors in Colorado told him he had six months to live. Dr. Rajat Walai at the Norton Thoracic Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital told Jarrad that, despite there being no effective treatment for the disease, he may be able to survive a double lung transplant.
“Not everybody gets a second chance,” Jarrard said. “I did.”
In 2010, Jarrard received the lungs of a 47-year-old woman who died in a car accident along the Carefree Highway.
“He received the gift of life that has helped him get both quantity and quality of life,” Walai said. “He’s able to fulfill his goals and dreams that he wanted to have when he had the transplant.”
About half the patients who undergo a double lung survive at least five years. Walai credited Jarrard’s active lifestyle — a cattle rancher — and overall health — he never smoked — to be the reasons he pulled through.
Walai said Jarrard is in very good condition.