With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant patients are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients. In Henrico, volunteers are raising funds for transplant patients like local man Chad Southward.
Born on December 17, 1982, Chad was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and doctors at University of Virginia performed his first life-saving double lung transplant in 2004.
After a few promising years, sickness & rejection reared its ugly head and Chad had to endure another double lung transplant. Since receiving his second transplant in November 2010, Chad has been employed as a policy manager at UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing), working to improve the transplant policies and processes in addition to sharing his personal experiences with transplantation so that people understand the importance of becoming donors.
Chad became a husband to the love of his life Lauren in 2011 and once again proved the odds wrong when he became a father to Lincoln in 2014, with another baby due in spring 2017. With the addition of these 3 beautiful souls, his life has an all new purpose. While he became stronger spiritually, his body has unfortunately become weaker due to chronic rejection of his second set of lungs. Since May 2016 his lung functions have dropped tremendously, making his mobility limited. Which is not an easy thing to go through when you have an energetic 2-year-old to chase around!
In September, Duke made the decision to put Chad through pulmonary rehab in order to get him listed for their FIRST EVER THIRD Double Lung Transplant. With his family, he relocated to Durham, NC as soon as Duke made their decision.
At 4pm on Thanksgiving Day, Chad received the miracle call & was given his new set of lungs! His determination is as strong as ever and he continues to push himself to heal so he can get back to his regularly scheduled life, with his family and friends.
With that being said, we need the love and support of his friends and family to restart this COTA campaign, with 100% of the raised proceeds benefiting COTA in honor of Chad, to assist with transplant related expenses.