My Friend Died Because Of One Person

I hate getting shots. But I owe it to James.

My friend James died last week of cystic fibrosis. He was the toughest sonofagun I’ve ever known. He got his first double lung transplant when he was in his 20s and those lungs kept him alive for more than a decade. He fell in love, got married, and had a son.

Last winter he got the flu. He couldn’t get a flu shot because he was immunocompromised, so he was counting on the rest of us to keep him healthy. Someone didn’t get that shot, got the flu, exposed James, and he got sick.

The flu was so bad that his lungs began to fail. But being the lucky, amazing, walking, fighting miracle that he is, he was able to get a second lung transplant last spring. The procedure was more complicated, though, and his body began rejecting his new lungs. He fought as long and as hard as he could to stay alive.

He died last week and leaves behind a wife, a 3 year old son, and a world full of friends who miss him deeply.

Thanks to organ donation, James lived another 15 years. And thanks to folks getting vaccinations, we were all able to keep him healthy for so long.

Get your flu shot, y’all. It might hurt, but it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as losing someone you love.



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