BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- For Broomfield resident Dennis High, the last couple months of 2018 were filled with swirling doubt.
"I talked to my wife the day before and I thought if it didn’t happen soon, it wouldn’t happen at all," High said.
Doctors didn't know why High's immune system was attacking his lungs, causing them to fail to take in oxygen. He needed to be hooked up to several tanks of oxygen at a time just to take a gulp of air.
After weeks at the top of the transplant list, waiting for the phone to ring, High finally got the hope he's been waiting for: he was getting a transplant.
"That first breath of fresh air was amazing," High said. "Not having to depend on this was really nice. I mean, this was my lifeblood for two years."
Now, High has a second chance and time to spend with his wife and family. After his surgery, the generosity of strangers took his breath away, with some people anonymously donating thousands of dollars to help pay for medical bills and medication via GoFundMe.
"I couldn’t believe it," High said. "They don’t know me. Really surprised as to how much some gave."
A spokesperson for UCHealth says High's old lung has been donated to a research campus for science.