Interview with Kathleen Feeney 

Interviewed by Sarah Starkey on October 29th, 2002

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

 

Kathleen Feeney was born in Washington D.C. but at a very young age, moved to Northern Virginia where she now resides. Kathleen was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the young age of 9; however, complications from her disease did not arise until she was much older and in college. Kathleen decided on transplantation as an option while she was an adult and went through surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Hospital in April, 2000. Two years later, Kathleen is now 44 and states that her quality of life is excellent.

 

Excerpts from Transcript

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

Excerpt 1

 

Background: 

In this excerpt, Kathleen comments on how it is to start over again with a new lung from her transplant.

Excerpt:

Itís amazing. Right from the first time that I was conscious, that I took a breath with the new lungs, it was like, ďOh my God.Ē I felt like I could inhale and expand my lungs all the way down to my hips. It was like turning the clock back so far, I couldnít even remember breathing easily. I mean, at least for 20 years. It was just phenomenal.

Return to top

Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

Kathleen talks about her new outlook that has changed since the transplant.

Excerpt:

And now Iíve got a little different outlook, too. On everything - I know the value of friends, I know how tremendously important your connections are. I know that I am married to the most wonderful man in the universe.

Return to top

 

Excerpt 3

 

Background: 

In this excerpt, Kathleen responds to the question of whether she would recommend a lung transplant to a friend.

Excerpt:

Yes, I would definitely recommend that people explore it as an option. I think you need to educate yourself about it and know whatís in store for you before you decide to do it. Because it is not just going to cure all your problems.

Return to top

 

Excerpt 4

 

Background: 

Kathleen talks about how other people perceive her after the transplant.

Excerpt:

But you have to have confidence in yourself, too. I think thatís a lot of it. You know how I mentioned earlier that I want people to see me and not just my disease? I think that it starts with how you see yourself. I donít see myself as my disease. I see myself as a somewhat personable, intelligent individual - a capable individual.

Return to top

 

Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Kathleen talks about the purpose of a transplant.

Excerpt:

I guess the only other thing is that really looking at a transplant - the transplant itself - is not the goal. The goal is to regain some quality of life and for whatever period of time that is. And that youíre still going to have to work at it, that youíre still going to have medical issues, and that there is still going to be ups and downs.

 

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