Interview with Jan Travioli 

Interviewed by Erin E. Witmer on November 2, 2000

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

 

Jan Travioli, a woman in her early thirties, recently underwent a double lung transplant in July, 2000.  She was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension in December, 1995, when she went to the doctor after experiencing shortness of breath after exercise.  In January, 1996, she put her name on the transplant waiting list, and she remained on the list for about four and a half years.  Ms. Travioli worked for Bank of America, and during the early stages of her disease, she kept her job through working out of her home.  Ms. Travioli now lives in Waxhaw, North Carolina, and at the time of the interview she was experiencing her second bout with rejection.

 

Excerpts from Transcript

 

Excerpt 1 | Excerpt 2 | Excerpt 3 | Excerpt 4 | Excerpt 5

 

Excerpt 1

 

Background:  

Jan discusses how she felt while waiting for a transplant in an apartment in Durham, and also how she felt when she received two false alarm calls that organs were available for her.

 

Excerpt:

When I got the calls, I was excited.  I remember being excited when I got the calls, and waiting in the hospital while they were checking out the lungs.  I was scared, but excited, because I knew it was finally going to happen and I could get on with my life.  But as far as waiting up there in that apartment, it was boring.  I couldnít wait until it got over.  The walls were closing in.  I felt like I was in jail.

 

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Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

Jan discusses the physical problems she faced when first released from the hospital.

 

Excerpt:

The hardest part about getting back into things was the physical part of it, because I was down for three weeks and I lost all my muscle tone.  And the steroids take away from your muscle tone too.  So I had no muscles at all.  And the hardest part for me was I had to learn how to walk again.  That was really tough.

 

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Excerpt 3

 

Background: 

Jan discusses the one thing that sticks out most in her mind about the entire transplant process.

 

Excerpt:

The fact that I have somebody elseís organs in my body is just weird.  It just. . .I canít describe the feeling, it just amazes me.

 

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Excerpt 4

 

Background: 

Jan talks about her biggest supporter throughout her transplant, her mother.

 

Excerpt:

. . .sheís a God-send.  I donít know what I would have done without her through this whole process.  Even though we get on each otherís nerves and she mothers me too much, I couldnít have gone through it without her.

 

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Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Jan discusses her outlook on dealing with what comes your way in life.

 

Excerpt:

. . .but Iíve been through so much with this that itís kind of like just take it as it comes and deal with it.  You know, I have so many people tell me, ďI donít know how you got through all that.  Thereís no way I could have done that myself.Ē  And the fact of the matter is, if youíve got to do it, youíve got to do it.  If youíre in that situation, you play with the cards youíre dealt with.  So, I think anybody could go through it if they had to, if they want to stay alive.

 

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For more information, contact Dr. Mary Jo Festle, Associate Professor of History at Elon University.

Email: festle@elon.edu

This page last updated 11/24/02