East Texan fighting for life, seeking second lung transplant - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texan fighting for life, seeking second lung transplant

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texan is in need of a second double lung transplant and he is only 20 years old. Cystic Fibrosis prompted the first transplant, and a recent case of H1N1 has left Richard Napier praying for a third pair of lungs.

Napier calls it his second chance at life.

"There were bumps along the road after transplant, but nothing major," said Napier.

He was born with Cystic Fibrosis - a life threatening lung disease. He received a new set of lungs on his 13th birthday. A self declared computer geek, Napier lived happy, healthy teen years.

"You couldn't have told me apart from somebody next to me," he said. "I was running four miles a day. I would go to the lake."

But, the normalcy in his life halted this past fall. Richard caught the H1N1 virus.

"It happened pretty quick," he said. "It just came on...There was no warning."

His health began spiraling downwards.

"I've had a couple of hospitalizations," Napier said. "I've had six or seven surgeries to figure out what is going on in there."

Doctors in Houston found his lungs severely damaged and past repair. Now, Napier is asking to be put on the lung transplant list for the second time in his life.

"There's no telling how long it could be this time around towards life expectancy," he said.

It is a condition that is become a family crisis. Medicaid stopped covering Napier when he turned 18. His dad, Tim Napier, is unemployed. He not only cares for his son, but also his wife, who is currently in the hospital battling her own health problems.

The Napiers rely on donations and hospital charity to cover medical expenses. In a matter of days, they are moving to Houston to be closer to the hospitals.

"I'm not really bummed out about it," said Napier. "I choose to fight for my life."

Fighting, one day at a time, Napier is asking for your help in the form of money or prayer.

If you would like to help the Napier family out with their day-to-day expenses, Richard Napier Funds have been set up at Mineola Community Bank or any Capital One Bank.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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