Interview with Tracy Raub 

Interviewed by Greer Fenton on November 28, 2000

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

 

Tracy Raub is a 35-year-old New Jersey native who was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension in 1994.  As a widow and mother of two, Raub knew she had to survive for the sake of her children.  Raub had a lung transplant at Duke University, a year after being diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, on May 11, 1995.  Merely hours before she got the call for her transplant, Raub did an interview with ď60 MinutesĒ on the controversial subject of using pig organs in transplantation.  Raub also had a failing heart, but could not find an adequate match in enough time to get a heart transplant.  Raub has battles with sickness and been in intensive care four times since her transplant over five years ago.

 

Excerpts from Transcript

 

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

 

Excerpt 1

 

Background:

After being misdiagnosed for three years,  Raub reflects back to when she found out she had Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. 

 

Excerpt::

I went to Medical University of South Carolina and they diagnosed me.  I was being misdiagnosed for like three years.  Then I went to Medical University of South Carolina and they told me that my heart was failed.  My whole right side of my heart was enlarged, it was failing and they did research and found out that I had this disease.  So they gave me 45 percent chance to live less than six months.

 

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Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

Here Raub talks about how the drug Flolan could have saved her life if she had been diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension earlier.

 

Excerpt:

They have a big, big Primary Pulmonary Hypertension clinic in Duke now, with a couple hundred girls.  Theyíre on this medicine, and they donít get transplanted.  So if itís caught in time you can, you know, go on the Flolan and the Flolan could  help prolong your life and keep you stabilized, before itís too bad.

 

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Excerpt 3

 

Background:

Raub now thinks back to the night she got the call for her transplant, and how she knew she had to live for the sake of her children.

 

Excerpt:

That night at 2:30 in the morning I got my call.  So I took the baby with me and we went over to Duke and I just handed her to one of the nurses and told them to take care of her until my mother got there.  I never thought I wouldnít... you know, I was scared, but I knew I was gonna make it, because I knew Öthat theyíre all I have.  Iím all they have.  I never, ever had any doubt.

 

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Excerpt 4

 

Background: 

In this excerpt Raub discusses how she thinks that most transplant patients encounter a small chance of rejection.  Raub reveals that her biggest problem after her transplant, however, was  a fungus in her lungs called cryptacroccus. 

 

Excerpt:

I think everybody faces a small chance of rejection.  I had gotten cryptacroccus.  Itís a fungus in the lungs and that was my setback.   But I stayed on a lot of strong medicines for a year.  And then after the year they found seven spots on my one, right lungÖand told me they thought it was cancer, so they were gonna go ahead and do an open lung biopsy.  And they did it and it was that cryptacroccus again. 

 

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Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Reflecting back on her entire transplant experience, Raub relays how past traumatic experiences helped her to make it through the transplant and remain positive and strong.

 

Excerpt:

Itís probably because I have two kids and I was single, you know, and I knew that I hadÖIíve been through a lot.  Iíve lost my husband, he was comatose to for two weeks, brain dead in a coma.  And then eight months later lost my brother, then my father died while I was waiting for transplant.  So Iíve been one to just keep my head up and go.  Not that I donít break down and cryÖ.

 

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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