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Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about the heart.
For Kevin Huckaby, the special day will forever also include lungs.
His new lungs.
On Feb. 14, at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Clinic, Huckaby received a new set of lungs during a nearly 10-hour transplant operation. It was the first of many high points this year for Huckaby and his family after months of agony and hard times.
And in a unique twist of irony not lost on the Huckaby family, the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in the patient’s early release from the hospital, expediting his return home to a grateful wife, Laura, and twin 10-year-old boys, Christian and Jonas.
After a lifetime of physical struggles caused by the cystic fibrosis he was born with, Huckaby got out of bed on Feb. 15 and felt like a new man. If this storybook ending seems a little too good to be true, Huckaby offers an answer.
“Faith is very important to me and my family,” he said. “Faith kept us together even when we were apart.”
Faith, Huckaby says, guided him throughout his lifelong struggles with CF. And not all of those struggles were physical.
He was diagnosed with CF when he was about a week old. Growing up, he had to go to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham every three months.
For more on this story please pick up Thursday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.