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Lexington, Ky (WKYT)- Last August we met a Lexington doctor battling cystic fibrosis, a disease of the lungs.
When our story first aired, Dr. Kevin Bauereis didn't know how much longer he would live or if he would ever see another patient.
WKYT's Amber Philpott has an update with the man who is breathing easier and back to his patients thanks to receiving a call that changed his life forever.
WKYT first met Dr. Kevin Bauereis in the operating room at the University of Kentucky waiting for his next patient, only the resident in anesthesiology needed to be their himself.
"When I was younger I was told 18 or 19 would be the life expectancy," said Bauereis.
Kevin was battling cystic fibrosis and his lungs were losing the battle.
While waiting for a lung transplant Kevin became bed ridden.
"One word, exhausted, I was done." Kevin says it was near the end and he could feel it.
Kevin's wife of seven years, Kara was by his side through it all and praying daily for a change.
"I believed that it was going to come, but it was getting very difficult to see our future. It was really coming down to the last minute," said Kara Bauereis.
That was last August, skip ahead a year, at 30-years-old Kevin has a new lease on life.
Today a simple walk to the mailbox is much easier thanks to a phone call that came the morning of May 7.
"It was about ten minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off and we got the phone call. I figured there was only one person who could be calling at that time of day," said Kevin.
Kevin underwent nearly eight hours of surgery for a double lung transplant.
Even in his darkest moments the doctor everyone loves in the operating room was still making others smile.
A huge Kentucky basketball fan he even posed for a picture throwing up the three goggles less than a day after his surgery.
Life for Kevin now is slowly getting back to normal.
Exercise is important for his new lungs as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but work was calling.
"I am ready to go back I'm done piddling around here I need to piddle around the hospital," said Kevin.
Kevin is back to work, two weeks back on the job with the colleagues who supported him through the most trying of times.
"Its amazing, its wonderful to see him out working with us again, its great to have him back here as part of the family," said co-worker Melanie Whitte.
While Kevin has gained, he knows it wouldn't have been possible without those who lost for him to live.
"I don't think I can be thankful enough to be honest, we are very thankful beyond belief for the donor, the donor family and the decision to save a life through organ donation," said Kevin.
Kevin is about two years from completing his residency at the University of Kentucky.
He says he is looking forward to UK football and basketball games because he won't have to lug his oxygen tanks around and he can use his new lungs to cheer on his Cats.
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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease characterized by an abnormality in the glands that produce sweat and mucus. Learn more »
Kevin’s team of providers at UK HealthCare included:
• UK HealthCare named ‘Rising Star’ hospital by University HealthSystem Consortium, October 18, 2013• UK HealthCare named a Top Performer by The Joint Commission • UK Stroke program receives quality achievement award, May 22, 2013• What is patient centeredness?
• Mechanical devices can prolong life for those awaiting transplant • Liver Transplantation Fact Sheet