New Lungs = New Life
Curtis Almeter hadn’t known what “healthy” felt like. He was born with cystic fibrosis, one of the most common, life-threatening inherited disorders in the United States.
Cystic fibrosis causes thick mucus to clog the lungs, making breathing difficult and leading to chronic infections that damage the lungs. For Curtis, this meant taking medicine, supplements and enzymes his entire life to help manage the disease. It also meant
multiple admissions to the hospital each year.
When it became clear that Curtis, now 27-years-old, needed a lung transplant to survive, he chose Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where physicians have performed more than 1,000 lung transplants. On December 24, 2009, he received his new lungs. Curtis’s surgeon was Bryan Meyers, MD, the Patrick and Joy Williamson Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery, who receives annual support from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation for his research and patient care efforts.
“Despite having the option of being home with family, Dr. Meyers decided to spend his Christmas Eve doing my double lung transplant operation,” Curtis says. “I’m very grateful.”
Curtis is improving every day. “Until I got my new lungs, I didn’t know what it was like to feel good,” he says. “I was just trying my best to get by. But everything I’ve been through is worth it to be able to breath.”
Curtis is a photographer and captured his experience in photos. To see his album online, please visit www.GivingBarnesJewish.org/Curtis