Ralson firefighter closer to double lung transplant

Posted at 3:12 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 16:12:20-04

A member of the Ralston Fire Department with cystic fibrosis is getting on the transplant list. Doctors diagnosed Mike Bramhall, 23, with cystic fibrosis at four months old.

After battling the disease for his entire life, he has finally been approved for a lung transplant after searching for months.

Bramhall notified the community via Twitter yesterday that he has been approved for a transplant at Duke University Hospital.

"There is a two to four week average wait time after listing," said Bramhall. "I'm honestly just overjoyed."

Bramhall learned earlier this year that his illness would hold him back from volunteering with the Ralston fire department.

After being told he was not sick enough to be on a transplant list in the Omaha area, Bramhall and his family began travelling seeking a hospital that would put him on their transplant list.

Community members rallied behind Bramhall and his family to help in anyway they could. Fundraisers throughout the Omaha area have been held in Bramhall's name.

In April, the Ralston Fire Department held a fundraiser with a life DJ, photo booth and dinner. It's estimated that the cost of a transplant can often exceed $500,000.

Volunteers throughout the Papillion community have already raised an estimated $150,000 to help the family with transplant expenses.

Community members set up a fund with money raised at fundraisers to help the Bramhall family to help cover the costs of the double lung transplant. In a few weeks,

Bramhall will be put on the list. After his surgery, Bramhall will be able to go back to work fighting fires in the Papillion and Ralston communities.

"There is nothing in this world that makes me as happy and firefighting/EMS," said Bramhall. If I have to get a lung transplant to continue to do that, than that's exactly what I'm going to do."

For more information on Mike or to donate, click here.