Dieken Cawley had his double lung transplant. The entire process happened so quickly. It was less than four months from the moment he mentioned a transplant to his family until he was having his surgery. Miraculously, he was only on the transplant list for 13 days!
Six months later, Deke’s transformation — both physically and in his daily life — is amazing. He’s gained 35 lbs., his oxygen level is at 97 percent, and his latest pulmonary function test went from 12 pre-surgery to 72!
Dieken was on oxygen for only 36 hours after surgery, was out of the intensive care unit in 42 hours, and walked a mile the first week. This is not to say he wasn’t in a great deal of pain, or didn’t struggle with the six tubes inserted into his chest, but his endurance was strong. “End results” became his motto each time the pain became unbearable.
Not only is Dieken strong and able to breathe, but his passion for life and living every moment is still there. He actually built a demolition derby car this summer and participated in the derby at Lorain County Fair, finishing in fifth place!
Deke’s successful February benefit was made possible by the grace of God and by so many wonderful people. There are no words to say how grateful his family is to each and everyone.
Those who helped sell tickets, served food and beverages, and donated money, raffle baskets, food and their time have not gone unnoticed. Thank you to the following businesses: Eagle Creek Golf Course, Ed’s Tattoo, Fairway Mortgage, Farkas Farms, Hi Rise America, Indian Motorcycle — Las Vegas Nevada, Joe Thomas, LaGrange Masons, LaPorte Inn, Mallard Creek, Pine Brook and Creekwood Golf, Mould’s Plantation, Northwestern Mutual, Ruby’s Venue, Schild’s IGA, Sterk’s Catering, That’s Skincredible, The Chronicle-Telegram, The Rural-Urban Record, Unicorn Restaurant, Vandemark Jewelers, Victory Bats, and Woody’s DJ Service.
The family wishes it could list each person’s name that made Deke’s benefit so successful, but they know who they are and how grateful his family is to call them friends. If a name or a service someone has provided has been neglected, please know it is not intentional.
Organ donation is such an important program. We are so grateful to the family who sacrificed so much to give Dieken a second chance on life. The love Deke and our whole family experienced has been absolutely amazing. Again, thank you all, from Dieken and his family!