Nampa teen speaks out for the first time since double lung transplant

Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-09 19:48:48-04

In October 2016, a Nampa family contacted 6 On Your Side when their teenaged son was in a battle for his life and his lungs.  On May 28, 2017, after only 8 days on the transplant list, Gauge Edwards, born with cystic fibrosis, received a potentially life-saving double lung transplant.

Now, less than two months after the operation, Gauge Edwards talks about the experience only to 6 On Your Side and according to the teen he’s feeling better than he ever has in his whole life.

Before the transplant surgery, Gauge and his parents were a bit apprehensive, but also hopeful for better days ahead.  Gauge says, “I can breathe easier.  I can walk around without getting tired.  I don’t have pains in my chest like I used to.”

Struggling for each and every breath isn’t the only thing from Gauge’s old routine that he doesn’t miss.  He says, “Whenever I wake up, I don’t have to do an hour and a half of breathing treatments and then an hour and a half of breathing treatments at night.  It’s down to 15 minutes, but eventually, it will be down to zero.”

Doctors moved Gauge from the intensive care unit only three days after the transplant surgery and mom, Patricia Kildow-Edwards says it gets better every day.   Kildow-Edwards says of her son, “He uses oxygen zero percent now.  He has not had oxygen since we were in the ICU.”

Gauge still must attend four required appointments every week – two with the transplant clinic and two for physical therapy, but physical therapists are encouraged by Gauge’s progress.  Gauge says of the prognosis from the clinic, “Better than any other transplant they’ve ever had.”

If all continues as planned, Gauge will be back in Idaho by mid-September, but before he returns to the Gem State, there are a few things he’d like to try out in Houston, where the surgery was performed at Texas Children’s Hospital.  Gauge tells us, "I want to go fishing for sharks in the ocean and boogie boarding and I'd like to be able to go on the rides at the boardwalks."

Then, Gauge says, “I can’t wait to get home so that I can thank most of you guys in person… This has been the best experience in my entire life.”

The Edwards family could foot up to $000,000 out of pocket for the transplant surgery and related expenses.  If you’d like to help or get updates from the Edwards family, log onto their GoFundMe page.