Donna Jacobsen was in desperate need of a new lung.
“I went from being a registered nurse, to being forced to retire and on oxygen,” said Jacobsen.
Two months after being the first person added to Nebraska Medicine’s lung transplant list, Jacobsen got the news she’d been hoping for.
“She called me on a Monday morning at 9 o’clock and said I think we have a lung for you,” said Jacobsen.
On January 26th, two days after Nebraska Medicine performed their first lung transplant, Jacobsen went into surgery.
“I would rather have a lung transplant than have a baby,” said Jacobsen.
Jacobsen joked about the ease of her surgery. She is thankful to have a world-class staff taking care of her. Jacobsen’s three children agree.
“The facility has been outstanding and she wouldn't be here without it,” said Jacobsen’s daughter Julie Brester.
Jacobsen's husband and children say they're shocked at the person she's become post surgery.
“It's a miracle! Before she had the surgery she couldn't walk across the room without being out of breath,” said Jacobsen’s son Tim Jacobsen.
For weeks Jacobsen has been rehabbing at Nebraska Medicine. She’s relearning how to breathe on her own and making strides towards a major goal.
“Tomorrow she is going to walk a mile, so it's like unbelievable,” said Tim Jacobsen.
On Saturday, Jacobsen and her family will walk a mile during the Donate Life 5K at Aksarben Village. For Jacobsen a mile is a symbol of progress and a sign of hope for the future.