When Tim Adams was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, his pulmonologist told him he only had one year left to live.
However, three years and a new lung later, Tim is doing very well.
Tim came to seek life-saving transplant treatment at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. His wife, Donnamarie, stayed at the Gift of Life Howie’s House for two months during his treatment and visited him every day.
“Having my wife nearby was especially helpful to my recovery,” Tim says. “Having a place for your family to stay while having major, life-saving surgery is an incredible blessing.”
Tim and Donnamarie are from southern New Jersey. If it wasn’t for the House, they would’ve had to rent an apartment—a huge financial strain.
Tim was able to join Donnamarie at the House after he received his precious gift of life from a selfless donor. Having an affordable place to stay in Philadelphia was a huge help as he went back and forth from the hospital for rehab visits. He and Donnamarie still travel to Philadelphia for Tim’s follow-up appointments.
“The Gift of Life Howie’s House, the staff, and its offerings helped us so much,” Tim says. “We’ve met and befriended other lung transplant patients from around the country. We keep up with each other.”
At the House, it’s easy for guests, whether they’re a patient or caregiver, to connect with each other. Sharing stories and words of wisdom with people on the same journey, and with those who’ve had similar experiences, can relieve their worries and stress.
Tim calls his post-op time at the Gift of Life Howie’s House his “reintegration to society.” He explains: “I was able to settle down from ‘pure’ hospital life and be around other people whom I once avoided to prevent getting sick because of my suppressed auto-immune system. At the House, other people understand post-op patients. You can come back into the world and still have your safe space.”
Now, one year post-transplant, Tim tells everyone he can about the Gift of Life Howie’s House and how it has helped him. He also joined the Board of Directors of the 2nd Wind Lung Transplant Association dedicated to supporting lung transplant patients.
“I tell everybody I know about the House. If I could, I’d run an ad in the NY Times. Everyone should know about Gift of Life Howie’s House.”