Margaree Centre man needs double lung transplant: In order to have this done, he needs our financial help
D. J. Timmons and his wife Edna in their Margaree Centre home.
-by Rankin MacDonald
The swing set and the outdoor toys are reclaiming the yard after a long winter and sometime in the future D.J. Timmons will once again be able to play with his grandchildren.
At 44, D.J. Timmons of Margaree Centre sits in his armchair and looks out the window at the hills of Margaree.
This is his life.
He can’t even put wood in the stove any more, his disease has progressed that much.
D.J. has Alpha 1 Antitrypsin.
He has lived in the Margarees all his life working as a labourer and around sawmills, but in 2005 his shortness of breath necessitated a trip to the doctor.
“They told me I had this disease and it has slowly progressed from there,” he told The Oran on Monday. “Last year it got worse. It seems to be progressing faster.”
Alpha 1 Antitrypsin is a genetic disorder that can attack both the lungs and the liver. The onset of lung problems usually occur between 20 and 50 years old and when it is a severe case a lung transplant is needed to save one’s life.
D.J.’s lungs lack the protein that helps keep the lungs clean and healthy. The disease has progressed to the point where D.J. needs to go to Toronto for a double lung transplant.
They are a normal Inverness County family that don’t have the money to spend almost a year in Toronto.
D.J.’s wife, Edna, 42, is a CCA at the Inverary Manor in Inverness and they have two grown children: Keshia, 23, and Terry, 21, who live in St. Joseph du Moine and Margaree Centre. There are two grandchildren, Mallory,(Terry) and Brody (Keshia).
At least they have their family close to them.
“I was a young guy on the go, when I started having trouble getting around,” D.J. recalls. “It was getting hard just to walk around and they say it’s hereditary.”
He heard that one of his great uncles had real bad lungs “but who knows what they called it back then.”
D.J. is hoping for a call in May so he can go to Toronto to be assessed.
“Once the assessment is done, a week later I take part in a conference call to get the yeah or nay,” he said. “If it’s a yeah I will have to get there as soon as possible.”
D.J. will have to move to Toronto and it usually takes six months before a donor can be found.
He will have to stay there for three months following the double lung transplant but the problem is that the Nova Scotia government only contributes $1,500 a month to the patient.
Edna pointed out that the rent in Toronto can run between three and five thousand a month and that is not counting their other living expenses.
All they own is their home and property in Margaree Centre and if they have to sell that they will have nothing to call their own.
When he returns home following the operation he has to make numerous trips back to Toronto, for up to two years, to be tested to ascertain the success of the transplant.
“Yes, it is depressing, it is always on your mind,” he said. “I never figured it would get this bad. I was holding my own until this summer and as I said, I can’t put a stick of wood in the stove. I’m chair-ridden!”
He knows what will happen if he doesn’t get the transplant, but he has hope all will turn out well.
“I couldn’t go through this if it wasn’t for my family and friends,” he added.” The generosity of a small community and strangers makes getting there possible. We still need a lot of help.”
“I just got to keep at it,” he concluded.
D.J. needs our help so that he can play with his grandchildren and live a better life with his family and friends.
The Nova Scotia government is reviewing the amount they make available for lung transplants, but it will likely take some time for them to reach a decision.
You can help by going to D.J.’s GoFundMe page at https//ca.gofundme.com/djsdouble-lung-transplant-surgery and donate to this very worthy cause.
Share this article
Join the conversation