Howell Graham (HG): I remember waking up from the surgery being on the vent and seeing this absolutely beautiful brunette nurse. She held my hand her entire shift. And I was kind of in and out of consciousness. And I guess the following shift a male nurse came in—this big burly dude—
Nan Graham (NG): (laughs)
HG: And I was not happy at all. Couldn’t talk because I was on the ventilator but I just was writing notes like, “Get him the heck out of here,” and “I don’t want this guy, get me the girl back and—“
NG: Lots of cursing. Lots of cursing.
HG: Lots of cursing. And my—my dad was tearing up the notes because he was scared the male nurse would find the notes and kill me.
HG: So he spent his time intercepting my hate notes.
NG: Which is kind of understandable. When did you get out of the hospital?
HG: It was a month later.
NG: And when you got home, things were going well, and you—
HG: Well, things were going fantastic, and ah, I had been out in my dad’s little seventeen-foot boat, thinking I knew what I was doing, and I ended up jumping out of the boat. And the boat got away from me, and it’s too far to swim. And I really thought I was going to drown.
NG: Six months out of a double lung transplant.
HG: Six months out of a double lung transplant and the first thing that popped in my mind was Dr. Egan, who’s kind of a little fireball, how mad he was going to be that he had given me this transplant and I blew it just being stupid.
NG: You said, “He would have killed me!” And I said, “He would have had to get in line. Your father and I would have be the first in line to kill you for this. We worked 28 years. He worked 12 hours.”
NG: (laughs) And so—
HG: 21 years later almost that these are—these are my lungs and it’s pretty amazing to have made it that far out. I’ve just been a lucky person.
NG: Life is good.
HG: Life is good.