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Double lung transplant doesn’t slow Pan Am torch bearer – Toronto Star

Myles Lynch runs with an easy, loping gait—his legs churning, his lungs pumping oxygen. He holds the Pan Am flame high and proud, but what makes this 17-year-old special isn’t the torch in his hand, it’s the fact that he’s running at all.

Myles was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that infects a person’s lungs and causes them to lose functionality, when he was just one month old. He was treated at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario until he was 16 when it was decided that he would need a new pair of lungs.

He was transferred to The Hospital for Sick Children and received his new lungs last fall.

On July 10, after months of recovery, he ran 200 meters as the Pan Am torch bearer for Sick Kids.

“I’ve been training a little bit every day and to be out and running, especially with the Pan Am flame, I could never imagine running like this in my lifetime,” he said.

According to Mindy Solomon, one of the doctors who performed Myles’ double lung transplant, operations of that nature are very rare.

“He’s very fortunate in the sense that there aren’t that many organs sometimes and not only did he get a set of organs, but clearly it’s gone very well for him,” she said.

Although Myles still has to undergo regular checkups and take numerous medications Dr. Solomon said his recovery hasn’t slowed him down at all.

“It’s amazing for Myles, because when he came to us he really couldn’t breath. He spent a lot of time in bed, he was in hospital all the time and all his social life ended,” she said. “Now he’s back to full life, doing activities both socially and exercise-wise.”

Hundreds crowded the lobby, balconies and stairwells of Sick Kids to cheer on Myles as he carried the torch.

Among them was his mother, Linda, who said today was a highlight among years of waiting and worrying about Myles and his treatment.

She credited the staff at Sick Kids for giving Myles a new lease on life, calling it a “special place.”

Lynch said today was about more than just her son, it’s a success story to share with everyone who has ever donated organs.

“Any person who donated an organ has to believe that that could potentially have been their son or daughter who partly ran that race today and they should be proud,” she said.

For Myles it’s a day he won’t forget.

“As I got closer to Sick Kids the cheering got louder and louder and when I stood up on that stage it was like I was in a dream,” he said.

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