Say "Yes" Today

Emily Paulk

Hello February and a new face in the LifeLink Faces of Transplantation Calendar. Meet Emily.

As a young child, Emily repeatedly got pneumonia and at two- years-old was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, an umbrella term for scarring of lung tissue. Despite her diagnosis, Emily lived a normal childhood until she was in college and experienced breathing difficulties. She had the flu which progressed to pneumonia, and Emily’s lung function severely declined. She was placed on the waiting list for a double lung transplant and two years later, Emily received her gift of life. Throughout her transplant journey, Emily had a positive outlook and the support of her small town who rallied around her by promoting organ donation. Emily and her family were touched by the kindness of their friends and family, as well as strangers who were also rooting for her. Since her

transplant they have made it their mission to rally around others and offer a helping hand, by paying it forward. Emily is a gifted artist and studied to be an art teacher in college. While awaiting her transplant, art was something Emily could safely do at home. She paints portraits for other transplant patients, donating them for transplant fundraisers. She enjoys sharing her story on social media and with local community organizations to encourage others to register as a donor. She is grateful for her donor and says, “Every day is a blessing and I’m living for them.”