The virus that changed it all
Everything was going well until January of 2017, when he caught a virus and needed new lungs – once again. “I almost died getting the tests done. I stopped breathing on the heart echo. They go in through your neck, they let air into my chest cavity and collapsed my lungs” Thibodeaux said.
This time around, Thibodeaux waited a total of 5 weeks for a lung donation. Shortly before his second lung transplant, he was started on a process known as photopheresis - a procedure in which the blood is processed through a machine that removes and treats lymphocytes before returning them back into the bloodstream. “That kind of stalled it and made my lung function not drop as much, maybe 1 or 2 percent instead of 20 percent. I started getting tested in June to be put back on the transplant list. I was also back on oxygen” said Thibodeaux. On August 21, 2017, he underwent his second double lung transplant. “You feel a million times better the second you get up from the transplant” he said.