NEW YORK -- A New York father is especially thankful this Father's Day. He's the first patient in the Northeast to receive a triple transplant for a new heart, lungs and kidney.
Steve Quinn is grateful he can now be the dad he wants to be with his daughter Ciara.
"I was basically like observing her life, instead of participating it," Quinn said.
The 40-year-old suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the lungs and kidneys. He received a new kidney in his 20's and his health was good. But a few months ago, he started having shortness of breath.
"Breathing was the big thing. I would go in and out of murmurs and atrial fibrillation. My heart would beat out of rhythm all the time. I had no energy whatsoever," Quinn said.
Doctors at NYU Langone Health told him he needed a new heart and kidney.
"His heart had accumulated a lot of calcium over many, many years. And the pressures inside the heart were so high that it started to damage his lungs," said Dr. Bernard Kadosh.
During Steve's workup, the team discovered he would also need new lungs.
"Triple organ transplantation is very rare. Heart, lung, kidney has not been done in the Northeast ever," said Dr. Kadosh.
"I entered a pretty dark, sad place. The transplant team noticed it and they asked what could they do and I just thought I just want to see my daughter. And that kind of like rejuvenated me to get through the next waiting and recovery and stuff," Quinn said.
Quinn got his triple organ transplant in March, a 13-hour surgery. He said the recovery was tough.
Three months later, he can walk a mile with hills and live in the moment with Ciara.
"This is going to allow me to see her go to kindergarten for the first time and do like donuts with dad, and daddy daughter dances and stuff like that. It just fills you with so much love," he said.
This Father's Day, Quinn said he's thankful for the gifts another family gave him to be here for his daughter.
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