New Lease on Life: 32-Year-Old Receives Unexpected Lung Transplant in Chicago Area

A western suburban family recently received news that a young man would be coming off the lung transplant list and into surgery instead—an unexpected gift, for a second time.

Kevin D’Agostino, 32, was born with cystic fibrosis, a progressive genetic disease that causes lung infections—making it tough to breathe.

Despite being diagnosed at birth, his family says he was living a pretty normal life, with the exception of his lungs were deteriorating.

“After college, things got worse and worse until I had my head injury, which was horrible,” he explained. “After that, about 6 months after that, I started on oxygen.”

Kevin was then put on the transplant list but his family did not expect to get a call as soon as they did—especially because they had already been through it once before.

Kevin’s father Mario and his wife Mary, lost their daughter Julie in 2015 to the same disease. She was only 22 years old.

“It’s been a long road,” the father said. “We’ve seen more hospitals than doctors have seen.”

Kevin is giving them hope with his positive attitude, inspiring the tight knit family and optimistic of a full life ahead of him.

“He’s got a lot of drive still and we’re excited to see where he goes,” the father said.

As far as the donors go, Mario says they don’t know what happened or what caused for the donation to happen. “I just hope that family gets to meet Kevin and gets to see the lungs of their beloved still working.”

“We plan on writing a letter to the donor family and thanking them for this gift,” he said.

After two lifesaving transplants, the D’Agostino’s are now advocates for organ donation.

For more on donor information, click here.

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