Make Every Breath Count – a Column by Samuel Kirton

What happened after COVID-19 finally caught up to me

American comedian Bill Engvall is known for his punchline “Here’s your sign,” which he’d often say in response to an outrageously obvious question. I recently experienced two “here’s your sign” moments of my own after wondering if I’d contracted the virus that causes COVID-19. On Monday, April 3, I…

Why the new system for organ allocation is an improvement

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, I received an email asking if I would participate in an exercise on how deceased donor organs are allocated. The opening statement read: “The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network [OPTN] is developing a more equitable system of allocating deceased donor organs. The new approach, continuous…

Social workers play an integral role on my healthcare team

When I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in January 2017, I became a patient at the Inova Fairfax Hospital’s Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Center in Virginia. Inova is one of 81 locations included in the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s Care Center Network (CCN). One…

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