By Dave Merchant email@example.com
Health and life is getting better for one local man. He was able to get a life-saving lung transplant at the University of Michigan Hospital.
22-year-old Allen Park graduate Brett Bowman has had to go through some tough times in life. He has had 65 surgeries and been at the University of Michigan Hospital so much that it feels like a second home. His recent 66th surgery is perhaps the biggest.
Brett has Cystic Fibrosis which is a genetic disorder that affects mainly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestines.
Last week a donor was found and Brett was able to get his transplant. He was notified on Thursday around 8 p.m. and moved to another unit at 11 p.m.
He underwent a 12-hour surgery Friday afternoon.
His mother, Kim Bowman, couldn’t have been happier. “Everything is going well,” she said. “They even commented that his four years of playing football in high school will help with the speed of the recovery.”
She said he is a very tough individual. “He walked for the first time,” she said. “He is ready to start the next chapter of his life.” For her and her family this means so much. Her comment was simple and to the point. “Both him and I want to meet the family of the transplant person. “He wants us to run in a 5K together,” she said. “My heart is full. My heart is full.”
This disease has had a toll on his family. His brother Blake died four years ago from the same disease. He was a freshman at APHS and developed double pneumonia. Due to complications and a rare fungus he was unable to fight it off. There is a tree at Allen Park High School planted in his memory.
Tom Donasky current Jags football coach and relative to Brett was more than happy about the transplant. “Extremely mentally and physically tough,” Donasky said. “Never complains about his disease just deals with the hand dealt. He is truly a role model for anyone fighting an illness or disease. He has always maintained a positive attitude and lived his life with optimism and hope. Extremely happy for him to be able to truly breath!”
Brett’s mom Kim has been very busy. Brett has been in the hospital for several months.
The cost of the procedure is covered by her husband Brian’s insurance. The only thing not covered is the cost of the lungs ($40,000). This is not covered because it is considered experimental.
Brett was very active in high school playing football and keeping shape. Kim says that this has helped with his fight. Renee Waddell whose son went to elementary school with Brett had this to say about him: “Brett and my son went to elementary school together. Brett is a wonderful young man who teaches us strength and courage. Kimmy and the family have been through so much. Brett has taught not only me but Allen Park how to treasure every moment in life. They are a special family to me and I love them dearly.”
Tom Hoover former Jags head football coach had this to add: “He is one of the kindest nicest
people. I am a big supporter. His mother, Kim, is a ball of energy.
Both he and his brother played football. The parents were at everything for their children.”
He was diagnosed with CF two days after his first birthday. There was only a 25 percent chance for him and his brother to develop CF, unfortunately they both did.
It has been a tough last year for him and even tougher last six months.
“The team looks at him as a perfect specimen,” Kim said. “He is great at football and athletic.”
There will be a fundraiser for Brett in the coming varsity football game which will be the alumni game on Sept. 20th against the Trenton Trojans. They will have a Purple Out which is the color for CF. Residents of Allen Park will soon be seeing purple ribbons around trees to help fight CF.
To donate or help the family out please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.