The friends and family of Roger Lewis are uniting to raise money to help with the medical bills associated with his double lung transplant.
The family and friends of Roger Lewis join together to provide support through his severe illness, double lung transplant and recovery. Here is Roger’s story: Roger was diagnosed with a rare lung disease when he was 12 years old. He developed sudden chest pain, had trouble breathing and was rushed to the emergency room where he was found to have a collapsed lung. Doctors had to insert a large needle into his chest to re-expand the lung and a painful chest tube as he recovered. This was the first of many similar episodes caused by the cystic disease affecting his lungs called Pulmonary Langerhans Cell Histocytosis. His parents were told that he was unlikely to survive to adulthood. He was homeschooled at first while he underwent medical treatments and with concern of his prognosis but he remained strong. He eventually returned to school and tried to live a normal life. In the past few years, Roger really began to suffer the effects of his illness as the functioning of his scarred and damaged lungs continued to decline and pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung infection set in. In a relatively short time, 35 year old Roger went from working and enjoying his family, including a newborn son, to being unable to work and requiring oxygen 24 hours a day. Soon he was barely able to get out of bed and sleeping almost all day. Medications did little to slow the decline of his lungs and had side effects which made him nauseated and unable to eat. Roger’s only hope for survival was a lung transplant and as 2012 ended, doctors feared he would not live long enough to have that chance. Roger’s two older children, Molly and Ally, who live with their mother in Iowa were able to visit at Christmas and when they left to go home, no one knew if he would be able to see them again. On January 21, 2013, Roger received a phone call that would change his life. Someone he would never know and could never thank, had given him a chance to live. Roger and his family hurried to UCLA and the following day he received new lungs through a long and difficult surgery. The surgery took over 10 hours to complete and during its course, it was discovered that Roger’s heart also needed surgical attention to repair a leaking valve and a hole in his heart’s wall. Roger spent two weeks in ICU before being able to go home to embark on his long road of recovery. Despite the pain he is currently in from surgery, his ability to breathe is vastly improved and he looks forward to feeling better each day. He is working on regaining the 30 lbs of weight he lost prior to the surgery. Those who know Roger know that his good humor and strength have brought him much farther than his childhood doctors thought he would be able to go. The day after his surgery, he smiled in relief as they removed his breathing tube and allowed him to breathe on his own with his precious new lungs. His wife, Megan, commented that he looked as if nothing had even happened (despite his 4 chest tubes, large scars, multiple large IV lines and intense pain) and without a pause Roger croaked out (his voice still hoarse from the breathing tube), “That’s what I do.” His wife Megan, his three young children Kain, Molly and Ally, and all of his family and friends, are grateful to have Roger in their lives. Please help support Roger and his family in their time of need. In addition to hospital expenses for his lung transplants, heart surgery and extensive ICU stay, they have transportation costs for his frequent medical appointments, lost work wages for Megan as she takes time off help him during his recovery period, and life-long medication costs estimated at approximately $5000 dollars a year. Even a small donation will help Roger and his family during this time.