Oakville couple inspire community one breathe at a time after husband receives double lung transplant

Sarah Taylor and Keith Childerhose share their journey

Sarah Taylor & Keith Childerhose
Oakville couple inspire community one breathe at a time after husband receives double lung transplant

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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On a sunny morning over a couple of cups of coffee at the Kerr Street Café, it was time to catch up with Sarah Taylor and her husband Keith Childerhose. Keith has just returned to work after 2 years of rehabilitation for a double lung transplant. Sarah was one of the first people who decided to share their story with OakvilleNews.Org.

Well, Keith has made a full recovery with the donation of lungs from an 79 year old man from North of Oakville. Keith is on a full regimen of anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life, however this does not mean that rejection cannot happen, it just reduces the chance of it. Keith’s life will always be in a delicate balance of health and medical technology, but he is happy to share that he is able to do all the things he did before his lungs started failing.

Rehabilitation was expensive not just in the physical sense, but also financially. Sarah took over the full-time operation of their home maintenance company (Lakeshore Home Maintenance), and the cost of the medication not covered by the government amounted to $20,000 per year for those two years. Thankfully, they had a great support network to keep things going.

However, that isn’t true for all transplant patients, where sometimes the costs outweigh the choice for life. As Keith says, “if there wasn’t a way to be able to keep my family financially solvent, I might have made a different choice. In the US, a transplant can cost as much as a $1,000,000.00”.

Another valuable tip Keith shared was to stay connected with other transplant recipients, through such social media platforms as Facebook which has a lung transplant page. According to Keith, it is so helpful, to talk with other people who have gone through the same issues. Doctors are excellent, but patients are fountains of knowledge.

When they were asked what things could be improved for transplant patients, the answer was that though the first 3 months of rehab are excellent; yet, once you’re at home physical rehab stops. Keeping up with regular exercise is critical to getting better, so one suggestion was to provide a free or discounted membership to the YMCA or local gyms for transplant recipients.

Sarah is still a major force in promoting the awareness for the need of organ donations. “The majority of Ontarians support organ donation; however, only 24 percent have registered online at BeADonor.ca,” stated Sarah. “We might want to consider what the Welsh people have just put in place which is an opt out program instead.”

One person’s desire to donate can result in saving eight additional lives. Donations are accepted from a person who is up to 80 years of age regardless of medical history, the decision is made by medical professionals as to the acceptability of the organs for transplant. To find out how you can sign up visit BeADonor.ca.

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