Randy Lee had been retired for 16 days when he found out that a lung biopsy procedure was needed. The former North Carolina State Trooper has experienced great complications ever since, but also has a hope to get his life back.
On May 28th of last year, Lee had a lung biopsy done. The procedure on average takes about 2 hours, but his took 6. He twice went into respiratory failure, and spent some time in Intensive Care, where he was on a ventilator. It was then made known to Lee and his family that he would need a double lung transplant. To help cover the out of pocket expenses, a benefit golf tournament is being held at Lakewood Country Club on Friday, April 8.
Lee and his wife are from the Eastover area. His wife, Kathy is an 8th grade school teacher, and they have 2 children, a 29 year old son named Brandon, and a 10 year old daughter, Miranda.
“The doctors asked me what I wanted the operation for,” said Randy Lee. “I told them that I wanted to be able to watch my little girl grow up. I wanted to see her graduate high school, go to college, and to be there when she gets married some day,” he continued.
The procedure is set to be done at UNC-Chapel Hill’s hospital, as they specialize in double lung transplants. Entering the surgery, the facts are on Lee’s side, as he has been told that the majority of double-lung transplant patients get their lives back after some time of recovery.
“They have mentors at the hospital in Chapel Hill,” Lee said. “They talked with me and I first hand was able to see what this procedure was able to do for them. Their encouragement gives me a lot of hope, and my goal is to be a mentor to others after my procedure, and kind of do for them what the mentors for me did for me.”
A double lung transplant on average costs between 1.75 and 2 million dollars. Their insurance company is to cover 80 percent of the operation’s cost, but that still means that $200,000 needs to be raised for the family’s portion of the bill.
On April 8, there will be a double shotgun captain’s choice tournament at Lakewood, benefiting the family. Each team will be comprised of four players. The first tournament begins at 8 a.m., and the second begins at 1 p.m. There will also be a BBQ lunch provided for those who play. The cost of the event is $65 per player, and players can register at helphopelive.org/campaign/9956, or by calling Charlene Langston at 910-309-7430.
“We are honored that the Lees chose Lakewood for this event for such a great cause,” said Curt Pritchard, the pro at Lakewood. “We are looking for a huge turn out, a day of fun golf, good food and hopefully to really help out this great family in their time of need.”
Lee went on to express how optimistic he is entering the procedure.
“I know that I have a good chance, because I am a fighter and I don’t back down from a fight like this. I’m not just going to give in,” said the man who has just 40 percent operation in his left lung and 60 in his right. “I have something to fight for,” he continued, “and that is being able to see my daughter grow up. I know that a lot of people are praying for me too, and that means more than anything right there.”
For more information on the event, contact Charlene Langston, or visit helphopelive.org.
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585