Interview with Jasper T. Martin

Interviewed by Chris Champagne on October 30, 2002

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

This interview covers the topic of lung transplantation with a man, Jasper T. Martin, who received a double lung transplant two and a half years ago (Feb, 2000).  He was raised on a farm in Piedmont, North Carolina in Rockingham County.  After graduating from the local high school he entered the Navy and after three and a half years started working for Duke Power.  After saving enough money Jasper went to King's Business College in 1962. Shortly after he got both  a CPA degree and a BS in Business Administration through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  During this time and for the next forty years Jasper was a pack a day smoker and light social drinker.  Beginning in the early eighties he began to experience some difficulties breathing that eventually resulted in emphysema.  His condition worsened until he went into pulmonary arrest in 1995.  For the next five years Mr. Martin lived with the support of oxygen.  In February of 2000 Mr. Martin  received a double lung transplant at Duke Medical Center and is currently both in good spirit and good health.  Mr. Martin has what he believes is a North American record for shortest time on the recipient waiting list- an amazing fifty-two hours.

Excerpts from Transcript

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

Excerpt 1

 

Background: 

In this portion of the interview Mr. Martin talks about what it was like to live with emphysema.

 

Excerpt:

If you can imagine just sitting here and worrying about collapsing between here and your car and when it goes through your mind every step that you have to take, every movement that you make, you plan it out ahead of time so you won't make any extra movements.  That's the kind of life you live when your breathing is that restricted.

 

Return to top

 

Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

In this quote Jasper is referring to the years leading up to his transplant in which his emphysema was worsening.  He would have fits of extremely brutal coughing.

Excerpt:

I said, Ive got a terrible pain in my side and its been there for six weeks.  It turns out that what I was doing was cracking my ribs with that excessive coughing.

 

Return to top

 

Excerpt 3

 

Background: 

In this quote Jasper is talking about the last visit he made to his pulmonary physician.

Excerpt:

He brought me the center section of the c-scan and he says, Now Im gong to tell you something youre probably not going to believe but if I wanted a picture of a healthy set of lungs to take to my students in my classes I would take a set of your lungs.

 

Return to top

 

Excerpt 4

 

Background: 

This quote is a response to a question I posed asking Jasper how the lung transplantation affected his strength in spirituality.

Excerpt:

It just gave me a total determination that my spiritual life is o.k. - a confirmation, lets put it that way.  This operation, this renewal was a confirmation of me as a human being.  It was a confirmation thatI quite frankly feel like the same thing that happened to Lazarus in the Old Testament happened to me.  I feel like I was brought back from death.  I feel like I was that far gone physically and this whole process has brought me back and probably for a purpose and Im working toward that purpose now.

 

Return to top

 

Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Prior to this quote I asked Jasper what his quality of life was like now.

 

Excerpt:

Better than what its been in twenty five years.  In many ways better than it has ever been, better than its ever been.  Im not under any stress, or hardly any stress.  Im physically and emotionally healthier than Ive ever been in my life, in my opinion.

 

Top of page | 2002 Interviews | Home

 

 

horizontal rule

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