Life-saving surgery gives man fresh start

Posted By: Megan Conway

What am I going to do with my life? What job do I want? Will I start dating?

These are all questions 30–year–old Shaun McCabe of Norfolk has started considering. Just over a week ago, he received double lung and liver transplants to save his life.

“I could start from scratch again and I can do whatever it is I wanna do. I could be a completely different looking person than I was before I had cystic fibrosis because I couldn’t grow into the normal person that my body has always been waiting for it to be,” says McCabe.

McCabe has been battling the cystic fibrosis since he was 3–years–old. You may remember him as being one of the recipients of Union Bank and Channel 8’s Magic Moments in 2013. A year and a half later, he feels blessed again.

“To be wanting to try this pretty remarkable surgery, it’s extreme end of things both liver and lung transplant. Not many have been done before, he knew he was taking a big risk when doing this,” says Dr. Denny Lyu, pulmonologist. 

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the average cystic fibrosis patient lives to their mid–30s. Doctors are already seeing remarkable improvement after the first of its kind surgery in Colorado. McCabe is talking and no longer relies on an oxygen machine.

“For me, the risk has already completely been beaten by the rewards,” says McCabe.

After being selected from thousands of patients in the Midwest for the surgery, McCabe says he can’t wrap his head around it, but he’s proud of the unique scars he’s left with.

“It’ll just be some marks to live with forever to let people know where I came from and the steps I took for life,” says McCabe.

McCabe will be staying in Colorado close to doctors for 3 months then will move back to Nebraska. The family has a donation page set up for him if you’d like to help with his medical costs.