A lady from Shoreview is the Mayo Clinic’s longest-living lung transplant patient, at 66 years old.
Kim Shobe was granted the gift of life 30 years ago in January. She is looking for another miracle as she celebrates a significant achievement.
“I was glad to have that,” Shobe says. “Basically, that’s what I expected to happen, which was that I’d be around 5 years.” “But I just kept showing up, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh, another 5 years, another 5 years, and here I am, 30 years later.'”
She claims she initially started having respiratory issues in her 20s, in the 1980s. Years would pass before a diagnosis was made. According to Shobe, “Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (L-A-M, LAM) is a disorder that I have. It’s similar to emphysema.”
She was placed on the transplant list right away since both of her lungs were compromised.
“I was having a hard time. I was in a wheelchair and on oxygen. Shobe recalls, “I couldn’t go across the room without running out of breath.”
She had her right lung replaced when she was 36 years old. “I’m really grateful, and I understand, and I’m going to weep, that it’s a miracle,” Shobe says from her Shoreview home’s living room. She went on to get her MBA, land her ideal career, and tour the globe.”
Shobe is retiring and facing a new challenge at the age of 66, after many spells in the hospital. Shobe says, “My kidneys are finally failing.” It’s the outcome of years of taking immunosuppressive medicines.
Shobe has been having dialysis three times a week since early spring, which is the procedure of eliminating extra toxins, waste, and fluid from the blood. It’s only a temporary solution.
According to Dr. Naim Issa, a transplant nephrologist at the Mayo Clinic, “the typical life span of a dialysis patient in this nation is roughly five to seven years.”
“This country’s organ scarcity has been a public issue,” Dr. Issa remarked.
Shobe and many others might face a six-year wait for a kidney from a deceased donor.
“There are a lot of individuals, not just me, whose lives are in limbo and are just waiting,” Shobe adds.
She now hopes to match with a living donor and develop a link that will offer her a second chance at life, since she has no time to waste.
“My aim is to obtain a decent kidney and recover quickly so that I can get back to doing all of the things on my bucket list,” she added.
Shobe says she tells people that she’s always managed to have something to look forward to, which keeps her motivated. That is the fuel that keeps her going. She is now on the transplant waiting list at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. Anyone interested in being a kidney donor can learn more by visiting this website.