New lungs help father walk his daughter down the aisle

CLEVELAND - Tim Cox, a 59-year-old pastor from North Carolina, learned his daughter was getting married while recovering from a double lung heart transplant -- his daughter and her soon-to-be husband got engaged while he was in the hospital.

Cox was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2014 and his lungs had filled with scar tissue. When medicines failed, he was put on the transplant waiting list at Cleveland Clinic.

According to a doctor at the clinic, at this point Cox was having difficulty performing daily activities on his own and was constantly short of breath. 

It took six months of being on the transplant waiting list before Cox received lungs -- however, ten days after the transplant, he suffered a stroke that left his entire right side paralyzed.

Determined to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding, Cox underwent rigorous physical therapy for 10 months and did just that.

Without his donor lungs, Cox and his family realize that the walk wouldn't have been possible. At the ceremony, a candle was burned at the front of the stage in loving memory and appreciation for the donor family. 

It has been a long road to recovery for Cox, but doctors at the Cleveland Clinic say his future looks bright. He will be returning home after more than a year of recovery in Cleveland. 

Information provided by the Cleveland Clinic.

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

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