By Alice Ortiz/Staff Writer
A Tupelo woman is recovering from a double lung transplant at Duke University.
After being on a transplant list since early December, Jennifer Blasingame Lowrey received word on Jan. 27 – her 35th birthday – that Duke University had potential lungs for her.
The next morning, she underwent a transplant surgery that lasted about about 81/2 hours.
Lowrey, who was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 10 years ago, developed pulmonary hypertension in the spring of 2010. That further complicated her breathing problems.
In September, she was turned down for a lung transplant by University of Alabama Birmingham because of an earlier bout with melanoma in 2007. The doctors there recommended she go to Duke about a lung transplant.
She and her husband, Will, went to Duke on Nov. 1 for a week of testing. She was notified Nov. 9 she had been accepted into the program.
Lowrey is the daughter of Mary Ann Blasingame and the late Barry Blasingame of Amory. She has a 15-year-old daughter, Jilanna, who is a student at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School.
Within an hour of waking up after her surgery, the nurses had Lowrey walking.
“She has been setting all kinds of records,” said her husband. “She should have rehab for two or three months and then be back home if things go as well as they are now.”
Because of the financial costs of their long stay in Durham, a fundraiser dinner is planned for the Lowreys on Feb. 19 at TCPS. A silent auction, which will include sports items donated by the University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, San Francisco Giants and many others, will be held at the fundraiser.
The Lowreys’ church, The Church at Trace Crossing, will be the collection point and oversight for donations. Financial donations can be made online at www.tracecrossing.org or to The Church at Trace Crossing, P.O. Box 69, Tupelo, MS 38802. At either location, Jennifer Lowrey’s name should be noted on the donation.
A caringbridge.org website has also been set up to provide updates on her condition.