Meet Bruce and Teresa

“I could not see staying 8 or 12 weeks in a hotel. Transplant House is an extension of the world-class, premier care provided by the transplant centers in Cleveland.” – Teresa

Imagine making plans with your loved one to follow up on your shared dreams and create plans for your lives together after retirement when a life-or-death medical situation changes everything. 

This was the reality Teresa and Bruce faced six years after their marriage. In 2015, Bruce was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – a chronic disease that affects the tissue in the lungs. Though a new drug made it possible for Bruce to beat his prognosis and live with the condition for 8 years, their lives changed dramatically.  

Because of his diagnosis, Bruce was forced to go on disability. As the disease progressed, he and Teresa were still able to do some of the things they loved to do together, including going on cruises and spending time with grandchildren. They even moved to a new home with 5 acres and a pond; but as Bruce’s condition worsened – especially after he contracted COVID – he was unable to enjoy their new home and it was becoming harder and harder for both of them to manage his care at home. 

“He could barely walk from the door of the house to the car,” Teresa remembers, “let alone enjoy the pond and the fishing he had planned to do with his grandchildren.” 

Bruce was hospitalized in October of 2023 and two weeks later, on November 6th, he received the gift of life from a lung transplant performed at the Cleveland Clinic. Bruce and Teresa are beyond grateful to his donor and the miracle that person’s choice to be an organ donor made possible. 

Teresa stayed at Transplant House during his initial recovery in the hospital and, once he was discharged, Bruce joined her at the House to continue recovering and in preparation for their return home to Columbus, Ohio. At the House, Teresa was able to continue to work – essential, as it allowed her to not only continue to receive pay, but also benefits and health insurance – and Bruce was able to receive home care from professionals familiar with the unique challenges of post-transplant care. Being at the House helped them feel secure and better prepared to return home.  

“Transplant House is an oasis in which you can learn to live with the transplant and not have all of the competing stressors and challenges of being at home,” Teresa says. “It’s an independent environment that prepares you to be at home, while also ensuring you have support when you need it.” 

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