Interview with Thomas Bullard

Interviewed by:  Larry McSwain on October 24, 2000

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

 

Mr. Thomas Bullard now lives in Mebane, North Carolina.  Mr. Bullard was born on January 28, 1951, and is originally from Wilmington, North Carolina.  Mr. Bullard settled in the small town of Mebane where he attended a local, public school and later attended Elon College.  He got married and now has two children.  Before Mr. Bullard was forced to retire from his job, he worked in a chemical laboratory.  The company he worked for was called Ciba-Geigy, which is now known as Novartis.  He was forced to stop working because of a heart defect that he was born with.  This heart defect over time deteriorated his lungs causing Mr. Bullard to have a double lung transplant.  Itís been six years since Mr. Bullard had his double lung transplant and heís doing well.

 

Excerpts from Transcript

 

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

 

Excerpt 1

 

Background: 

Thomas Bullard comments on living his life to the fullest. 

 

Excerpt:

"Iím living my life probably more now than I ever had.  I didnít realize how bad I felt until after I got over the trauma of surgery and I started feeling better.  My stamina is so much better than it used to be." 

 

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Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

Mr. Bullard describes a portion of his surgery.

 

Excerpt:

"What they do is open you up across the chest.  Open you up like a '57 Chevrolet and they take out a block of organs in there and put some in."

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Excerpt 3

 

Background: 

Thomas makes a brief comment on his experience after surgery.

 

Excerpt:

"Well first thing they do, as soon as they can they get you up out of bed, even though youíve got IVís and tubes all over and hooked up to everything in the world, they make you try to walk."

 

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Excerpt 4

 

Background:

Thomas briefly talks about his biggest supporters during his rehabilitation period.  

 

Excerpt:

"Probably the respiratory therapist.  I look at them as like marine drill sergeants.  They never let you rest, keep you going, they challenge you.  Slowly but surely you get to the point that you are progressing.  At the time you think that youíre dying, but you just sort of keep at it." 

 

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Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Mr. Bullard talks about his quality of life.

 

Excerpt:

"Itís much better.  Much better.  It did get to the point just before the transplant where I was so tired I would have to go to the hospital every so often that it was beginning to be kind of tiring.  That quality of life wasnít what you have liked.  But now itís been great."

 

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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