After Lung Transplant, 72-Year-Old Man Gets The Gift Of Life

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In his hospital room at UCLA, 72 year old Bob O’Rourke is breathing on his own and for the first time in years he’s not attached to an oxygen tank.

It’s been more than a week since he got the call, he would get the lung transplant that would save his life. He has pulmonary fibrosis – a disease that scars and deteriorates the lungs — and eventually takes away the ability to breath. This disease has nothing to do with smoking. O’Rourke was a non-smoker.

A transplant was the only solution. With his wife Sandy by his side he underwent the lung transplant and is doing well.

UCLA surgeon Murray Kwon performed the transplant and says there is a lot to watch in the coming days, weeks and years but this is a good start.

And for Bob O’Rourke all of this attention is quite a change. The man who for decades gave us stories as the publicist for Caltech, now is the story himself. He’s not shying away from it. He wants to make people aware of this devastating disease, and help raise funds for research. He’s working with the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Join the CPF at and help us conquer Pulmonary Fibrosis! Take action on our website advocacy page and start your own fundraising page.

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