Interview with Jimmy Carroll 

Interviewed by Daniel Jackson on November 10, 2002

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

 

Jimmy Carroll is a 46 year old male who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 6 months of age.  Jimmy grew up on a farm in Caswell County, North Carolina, and currently resides in Archdale North Carolina.  Mr. Carroll, both husband of 19 years and father of 15 years, started having more substantial problems with his lungs around 1993.  Mr. Carroll was evaluated for a lung transplant in 1994, and after 2 false alarms, received his lungs in May of 2001.  Following 8 months of recovery time, Jimmy returned to work.  A year and a half following his transplant, Mr. Carroll is doing very well, and his last two lung tissue biopsies have been negative for rejection.  Mr. Carroll is grateful for a second chance at life, and has no regrets about his decision to go through with the transplant.

Excerpts from Transcript

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

Excerpt 1

 

Background: 

Mr. Carroll describes when his symptoms started to become very problematic.

 

Excerpt:

Well I can tell you exactly the date because it would have been October 20, 1993.  I got pneumonia, and that was the first time I had pneumonia since I was 5 years old.  I had it once when I was 5 and then again in ’93 when I would have been 38.  And, then I had it again the following June, June of ’94 I had pneumonia again.  And from that time, from October ’93 to June of ’94 and on, I really started going down hill.  I would get sick much more frequently than ever before, and I mean I could tell my lungs were deteriorating. And especially from, I’d say, toward the latter part of ’99, of 1999 I really started going downhill, and I was transplanted in 2001.

 

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Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

Mr. Carroll reveals how he felt about being on the waiting list.

 

Excerpt:

For the most part I was very pleased to be on the transplant list.  Now, after I started getting sicker and sicker, toward the end of the 90’s, then I started to realize that this really is probably going to be a reality.  I don’t know if denial is really accurate, but I think when I was first listed I was kind of feeling,  “Well, it’s probably never going to happen.  I’m not going to have to worry about it.”  But then, as it came closer and closer, as time went on then I did start to think, “This probably is really going to have to happen, and I’m not sure I feel so great about it.” 

 

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Excerpt 3

 

Background: 

Mr. Carroll tells us about the boyfriend of a nurse he met at the hospital.  The nurse's boyfriend was one of Mr. Carroll's biggest inspirations throughout his transplant experience

 

Excerpt:

She would smile, and she would wave.  She just seemed like a really nice person, but I had never met her before.  I had just seen her up there.  So I’m walking along, around the halls at four o’clock in the morning because I had nothing else to do, and I’m just kind of worried.  Well I just happened to run into her, and so I spoke to her, and we struck up a little conversation.  And one of the first she said to me was, “My boyfriend has CF,” and I said, “Oh really?”  So we got to talking and she said, “Yeah, and he had a lung transplant.”  And I just was totally blown away.  And I said, “Well how long ago was this?” And she said, “Five years ago.”  He was doing great.  So we had a whole conversation, and it just totally changed the way I felt about it.  People have said, “Wow, that should be on Touched By an Angel,” because it just made me feel so much better, and because I had met somebody who knew somebody that had a transplant and was doing great...But getting to know him just really changed my total perspective on the transplant, and I almost never worried about it after that.  So that was really kind of a neat story, and I believe God had a hand in me meeting this nurse, and finding out about this other patient.  That was really a major milestone in me accepting the transplant and really thinking that things are going to be okay.

 

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Excerpt 4

 

Background: 

Mr. Carroll explains how he felt about the surgery itself when asked if he had any doubts.

 

Excerpt:

I guess I look at it almost like it is an astronaut going into space.  I mean, it’s kind of a scary thing to think about.  That you’re sitting on top of this rocket that's going to take you to the moon or wherever.  But you know that so many people have worked and planned toward that, and those people know what they’re doing. And that you just have to trust that everything’s going to be okay. 

 

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Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Mr. Carroll talks about his son when asked how his son felt about the entire transplant experience.

 

Excerpt:

He never said much about that fact that he was worried, and I don’t think he is a worrier.  But I do know that the night after my surgery, he was going back to the hotel, which was just across the street from hospital.  And my wife was staying at the room, and as he was leaving, he said, “Mom, don’t let him die.”  Like that.  So that obviously tells you that he knew the gravity of the situation.

 

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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