Sign up for Action News Jax Newsletters

Delivered To Your Inbox

Air Force veteran hopes to meet donor's family after lung transplant in Jacksonville

by: Action News Jax Updated:

Loading

A Georgia Air Force veteran got a double lung transplant at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville hours after his wife was told he was going to die.

An angel hangs on Terry and Sandy Junn's Christmas tree. It’s dedicated to a woman they've never met, a woman who saved Terry Junn's life.

Terry Junn served 23 years in the Air Force before he retired in Valdosta, Georgia.

In September, Terry Junn woke and knew something was wrong.


Photos: Air Force veteran gets double lung transplant


Doctors diagnosed him with pulmonary fibrosis and told him he needed a double lung transplant.

He came to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to prepare for the transplant.

His condition declined rapidly. He was in the intensive care unit for 31 days and was eventually put on life support while waiting for a donor.

His wife was told he had hours to live.

“I really thought he was going to die before a lung became available,” Sandy Junn said.

An hour after doctors said he wasn’t going to make it, two healthy lungs became available.

The 21-year-old woman’s lungs were a match for Terry Junn.

Doctors flew them into Mayo Clinic from Mississippi and Terry Junn went into surgery.

The Junns life-saving miracle came from a young woman whose life ended tragically.

The Junns said they only know that she was murdered.

Now with Terry Junn's every breath, they believe the young woman lives on.

“The family, I’m so grateful for them,” Terry Junn said. “I would not be here if it wasn't for that. And I can’t wait for the day, I hope they want to meet me.”

The donor’s family said they are grieving now but are willing to meet the Junns sometime in 2017.

Terry and Sandy Junn will remain in Jacksonville for several months as Terry recovers.

If you’d like to help the family with medical costs, visit their GoFundMe page.

A Mayo Clinic spokesperson said more than 500 lung transplants have been performed at the hospital since 2001.