‘Second Wind’ Short Film Brings PF, Organ Donation Into Sharp Focus

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by Diana Campelo Delgado |

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Second Wind documentary

The Three Lakes Foundation, a nonprofit supporting better ways of diagnosing and treating pulmonary fibrosis (PF), announced the release of “Second Wind,” a short documentary film highlighting the need for organ donation.

The documentary tells the story of Nick Brown of Indiana and his years of struggle until his PF was correctly diagnosed and the transformation in his health after receiving a double lung transplant.

“While nearly 1,500 people actively waited for a lung transplant last year, an additional 2,219 were added to the waiting list. We hope this film will inspire people to consider organ donation,” Dana Ball, executive director of Three Lakes Foundation, said in a press release.

Brown shares his diagnosis to transplant journey in “Second Wind,” and his determination to spread awareness of PF and the importance of organ donation.

“When you’ve got pulmonary fibrosis, slowly but surely you’re declining and everything’s getting harder. Not just breathing, but taking a frigging shower,” Brown said in the film. Within two years of finally being diagnosed — after being tested for ailments ranging from allergies to acid reflux — he was hospitalized and on constant liquid oxygen use.

“My lungs were just giving out, and I still wasn’t on the transplant list,” Brown said. His doctors pleaded his case, seeing his only choice that of a transplant or end-of-life hospice care. Their efforts won the young man a spot at the top of  the lung transplant waiting list, and some six hours later, a donor lung match.

Within another six hours, his transplant surgery was underway.

Waking up two days later, Brown remembers his “first thought” was to take “the deepest breath I could. It was just the sweetest sensation in the world.”

“Nick’s case is a testament to just how critical a timely diagnosis of PF is,” said Michael Duncan, MD, medical director of the Lung Transplant Program at Indiana University Health and Brown’s transplant surgeon. “If his diagnosis was delayed any longer and his PF continued to progress, he likely would not have been a candidate for the gift of organ donation.”

The foundation sees this documentary, which runs for about eight minutes, as a way to support patient groups and organ procurement organizations through the telling of a personal story that raises awareness of PF, a progressive lung disease characterized by the thickening and stiffening of lung tissue, and inspires people to act and become organ donors.

“I honestly believe that everyone should sign up to be an organ donor,” Brown said in the release. “It’s an amazing gift that you can give somebody.”

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