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Double lung transplant recipient from P.E.I. continues strong renewal

P.E.I. native Luke Allen, who is rebounding well from a double lung transplant in late January, says he hopes to play some competitive golf in the near future.
P.E.I. native Luke Allen, who is rebounding well from a double lung transplant in late January, says he hopes to play some competitive golf in the near future. - Jim Day

FORTUNE, P.E.I. — Luke Allen feels like a young man for the first time in several years.

Allen, 25, who now lives in Bedford, N.S. says he has not been as strong or as healthy as he is today since he was 17 or 18.

A successful double lung transplant has given him renewed health.

Allen is thrilled with how far he has come in the short time since undergoing double-organ surgery on Jan. 24 at Toronto General Hospital.

Before the 10-hour procedure, his lung capacity was at 21 per cent. It is close to 90 per cent today.

“They are really, really good at what they do,’’ he says of the organ transplant team at the Toronto General Hospital. “It’s pretty impressive.’’

Allen has more than a little jump in his step with his new lungs doing a phenomenal job bringing in air and passing oxygen into his bloodstream.

He makes his way to the gym three days a week, spending 90 minutes to two hours each trip peddling a stationary bike, hitting the treadmill, and doing leg and arm weights.

Going for walks today with little or no effort is something he had not enjoyed for a long time.

“Just getting around like a normal person on a day-to-day basis,’’ says Allen, who is visiting friends and family on P.E.I.

He says his doctors are surprised with the quick pace of his rejuvenation.

He was told his road back to a normal life would take patience.

Earlier this year, a doctor recommended Allen only putt and chip as part of any golf regiment this summer.

The male junior golfer of the year on P.E.I. in 2012, however, is one for pushing the envelope.

“Just kind of my ambition. I think it has a lot to do with that,’’ he says.

He played a full round of golf in late April – a special outing with his buddies that was more memorable for his ability to get around the course than for the modest score.

He concedes there is a good deal of work ahead to regain his form as a scratch golfer. Still, he is determined to play some competitive golf “in the near future’’. He plans to play as much golf as he can this year but will be cautious not to push too hard.

He credits his good physical condition when he was younger with helping him build his strength back up today.


Gift of life

  • Islanders can consent to be an organ or tissue donor if they are aged 16 or older and fully understand the nature and consequences of the donation. A person can change his or her mind at any time.
  • Parents cannot provide prior consent for the donation of organs and tissues of children under 16 years of age. Parents can only consent on behalf of their children if and when the opportunity to donate arises.
  • To learn more about organ and tissue donation on P.E.I., click here.

Although Allen was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just six months of age, he was quite healthy growing up in P.E.I. He played AAA hockey and plenty of golf.

However, his health started to decline as a young adult. His lungs were failing him.

He underwent a two-year process of assessments and testing before finally being cleared to have a double lung transplant.

Two months later, Allen went under the knife. All went well – very, very well.

The new lungs are doing the job.

“Pretty much as good as they can go,’’ he says. “I don’t think they could be much better. No complications.’’

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