Woman receives transplant: VG resident finds lung donor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Geraldine Deavers is the recipient of new right lung.

Birmingham doctors informed the 65-year-old Valley Grande resident of a match on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving.

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“My wife has gotten her lung transplant,” said Claudie “Junior” Deavers on Wednesday. “(Tonight) will be two weeks.”

Geraldine has long suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, lung scarring that restricts oxygen to the bloodstream. Geraldine was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis three years ago but didn’t experience any serious complications until November 2005, when Birmingham doctors told her she needed a lung transplant to live. The condition had claimed the life of Geraldine’s older sister at the age of 40. Geraldine prayed to beat the odds.

“(The transplant) is the only alternative I have,” Geraldine said in a previous report. “I don’t have any lungs to fight with.”

Geraldine was admitted into UAB Hospital to undergo transplant surgery. Unfortunately, “she had a setback last Wednesday morning,” Claudie said. Doctors had to perform a tracheotomy to assist Geraldine in her breathing.

“(The doctors) are hoping to get that off within a few days,” Claudie said. “They didn’t know whether she had pneumonia, a bad infection or a rejection. They never could figure it out. She’d done real good until then.”

Geraldine is currently in UAB’s Heart Transplant Intensive Care Unit, which specializes in both heart and lung transplants.

Claudie is temporarily residing in Birmingham at UAB Town Homes with his daughter, “which makes it easier for us,” he said. “We just walk from there over to the hospital and they have four visiting times.”

Claudie said Geraldine is not able to communicate now due to the tracheotomy. He’s hoping doctors will remove the tubes as soon as today, allowing Geraldine to speak and resume her recovery.

“She may be in the hospital for another couple of weeks. And we’ll have to stay at the UAB Town Homes for eight weeks after she’s released,” Claudie said.

In an effort to assist its longtime church members, First Free Will Baptist Church in Selma is sponsoring the Geraldine Deavers Transplant Fund at Wachovia Bank. The fund was established to alleviate Geraldine’s medical expenses and “hidden expenses” such as food, lodging and transportation.

Those who wish to contribute to the fund may stop by Wachovia Bank or call First Free Will Baptist Church at (334) 872-5521.