A double lung transplant saved Lachie McLachlan's life.
Lachie McLachlan says he does not have words to describe
what his double lung transplant means to him.
The 65-year-old Mosgiel real estate agent has a new lease on
life after recovering from a rare terminal lung disease,
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Without the transplant, he would have died.
''I struggle to find a word that I can use to explain my
''All I know is that I'm humbled by it - the fact that
somebody as a donor and the family of a donor made that
decision to allow transplants.''
He spent three months in Auckland at the start of this year -
two of them in Auckland City Hospital - for the lung
transplant, his hospital stay longer than expected because he
went into septic shock 10 days after the surgery.
He has been back at work since about July, after more than a
Getting him back to good health was a team effort, from
hospital specialists to the cleaners and porters; from the
donor and their family to his own family and the Mosgiel
''Everybody that was involved ... they were all part of what
I call the jigsaw of my life at the time, whether they be a
big jigsaw part or a small jigsaw part, and they should all
By the time he had his operation in January, he had severely
restricted mobility and had organised his funeral. He was
given the lungs of a 50-year-old, and said he wanted this
story to be about the vital role of donors rather than ''my
Mr McLachlan is offering his time to service groups and other
organisations to talk about the role of donors and
His was the 165th lung transplant performed in New Zealand.
He thanked his wife, Helen, and his three children for their