Second double lung transplant recipient beating the odds

Adam Kingz, 29, pictured with his two children.
Adam Kingz, 29, pictured with his two children. (Global News)

TORONTO – Twenty-nine year old Adam Kingz was not expected to live past 14.

“There’s lots of times where I’m sitting there and I get this ridiculous smile on my face because it just hits me.  I’m alive,” said Kingz.

Kingz lives in Beamsville with his wife Ashley Moody and their six-year-old daughter Emmalynn and 17-month old Abel.

“Everyday things people take advantage of, we don’t,” said Moody. “We enjoy them even more.”

READ MORE: Ontario father, 3-year-old daughter recovering after liver transplant

Kingz is known as Sick Kids’ longest-living lung transplant survivor.  He was a healthy teen until he was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension after passing out during a gym class.

“When I was first diagnosed with the disease, they told my Mom. They gave me six months [to live],” said Kingz.  He received his first double lung transplant when he was 13. He said all he knows about the identity of the donor, is that it was a woman in her late teens.
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“The first time around with my first transplant they gave me my childhood back. I was only 13 years old,” said Kingz.  “So I got to be a teenager, I got to meet my wife. I got to have kids and do all those things.”

For 13 years, Kingz lived a healthy life with his new lungs. Then things changed. He started to cough a lot more and tire easily.

“They finally did a biopsy on my lung and they found out that it was chronic rejection which came to a huge blow,” said Kingz.

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Doctors told Kingz he would need another double lung transplant to survive.

“It was scary,”  said Moody.  “[Adam] didn’t think there was a shot but it was one of those things where you have to stay positive.”

“I don’t want to say death sentence but that’s kind of what I always understood it was,” said Kingz.  “The doctor reassured me that second transplants are possible.”

After 363 days of waiting on a provincial and national list, Kingz got the call and received his second double lung transplant in September 2014.

“I’m coming up to my 30th birthday this year. I honestly don’t know if I would have made it without this transplant,” said Kingz.

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He is still recovering at home with his family. And he enjoys the simple things like making his daughter’s lunch for school.

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“It’s something that I used to do. And then I got sick and I tired. I did it for awhile and then I couldn’t,” said Kingz.  “It seems silly. I mean it’s just making a lunch for school. But I love doing it.”

Kingz knows he wouldn’t be here today had it not been for his donors. Green ribbons and magnets adorn his home inside and out. It’s a reminder, about how important organ donation is.

“If they could just take a walk through the hospital and walk through the transplant ward. The people waiting and the people that have received it. Honestly, people would sign it right there,” said Kingz.

“It takes two minutes and you’re saving one person’s life and possibly up to eight.  You’re also saving a whole family,” said Moody.

Transplanted lungs last an average five to 10 years. But they can last as long as 25. Kingz said he is going to live life to it’s fullest and perhaps beat some more odds.

“I get to raise my kids and hopefully be a grandfather one day.  I have so much to live for.”

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