How Allen Hill Learns to Live Life to the Same Tune With Different Lungs
Allen Hill has been exposed to the elements all his life. Beginning in his teenage years, he’s worked as an electrician, spent 20 years at a chemical oil plant, and ingested his fair share of toxins and pollutants. Over time, these jobs damaged his lungs and made symptoms like coughing, wheezing, trouble sleeping, and a high heart rate part of his daily life. For Allen, it took an official diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis to retire and figure out his next steps.
Knowing the disease was progressing, Allen’s team of doctors at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, led by Dr. Amit Parulekar, spent two months testing him to see if he was a lung transplant candidate. They agreed he was in a prime position to receive a new set of lungs, and eight months later, Allen got the call.
Dressed for a play he and his wife were heading to see, Allen remembers the conversation exactly. “‘We have your lungs, and we need you here in two hours,’” Allen recalled. “So I changed my clothes, and made it there in less than one.”
After going through extensive pre-surgery rehab at CHI St. Luke’s Health–Patients Medical Center in Pasadena, Allen felt ready for his transplant on March 17, 2017. Less than two weeks later, Allen was out of the hospital, beginning his post-transplant pulmonary rehab back at Patients Medical Center, and making time for one of his favorite pastimes: live music.
He was feeling healthy, so a trip to see Paul McCartney live in Bossier City seemed like the best way to celebrate. Now finished with rehab for over a year, Allen confirms “the lungs have been working great,” and he’s been to several concerts since.
“Allen waited a long time for his lungs,” says Patients Medical Center respiratory therapist Carol Cook. “The breathing and the exercises we did until new lungs were available increased the volume of his current lungs and helped bide time until his transplant.”
Allen Hill experienced an excellent outcome because of the care, compassion, and expertise of the team at both Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Patients Medical Center. Without his transplant team and the extensive rehab led by Carol Cook, Allen would not be here today enjoying his retirement. Now, he and his wife are fitting in concerts anytime they can–and that’s a lifestyle worth singing about.