GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s the season of giving this is a story of a recipient of gift only 150 other Americans can say they have.
Keith Lewis now works on high-powered engines in a garage behind his Grand Prairie home.READ MORE: College Admissions SAT Test Getting Shorter, Going Completely Digital By 2024
“Playing with things with a motor are my passion, you know, motorcycles, cars, it’s my enjoyment,” he said.
Ironically, unlike his Harley, Lewis’s body was anything but a finely-tuned machine.
He inherited a disease called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and it’s derived from the liver.
Twenty years of suffering ended for Lewis with rare liver and double lung transplants at Baylor Scott & White Dallas.
Since 1994, only 150 other Americans have received both donor lungs and livers.
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“It’s definitely a unique circumstance,” said Dr. Gary Schwartz, Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center. “It obviously takes a special patient.”
Baylor’s team of surgeons and their tools saved the 58-year-old auto mechanic’s life for which Lewis is forever thankful.
But it’s the two donors and their families that he struggles to find the right words for.
“It’s emotional it really has saved my life,” said Lewis. “You know I’m here because of your family member and now when I wouldn’t be there without him, you know, for sure. You know, and that’s, that’s how it affects me.”
And that’s why Lewis and his wife are sharing their story during the holidays, to encourage more people to register as organ donors.
To them, it’s the ultimate gift and allowing them to enjoy a longer life together.MORE NEWS: Here's How Long It Will Take To Get Your 2022 Tax Refund
“For these families for their sorrow has brought joy to us and it just means everything,” said Keith’s wife, Dana. “We are eternally grateful these families that have donated their organs for my husband to live.”