Precious gift of life: Pastor's wife grateful after transplant

Precious gift of life: Pastor's wife grateful after transplant

Oakland United Methodist Church Pastor Steve Yeaney and wife Donna, who had a double lung transplant. Their dog Shadow joins them on the couch. (Photo by Tom Sherlin/ The Daily Times)

By Melanie Tucker/ The Daily Times

GREENBACK, Tenn. (Aug. 6, 2016) -- Donna Yeaney celebrates her birthday every year, on Sept. 16. But now, May 1 has to rank right up there in importance.

That was the day doctors sliced her open from one side to the other, transplanted two lungs from a stranger and extended her time here on earth.

She doesn’t remember a thing about the eight-hour surgery and has almost no information about the young man whose organs were given to her just a few months ago. She is forever grateful to his family for the gift.

Husband Steve is the pastor at Oakland United Methodist Church in Greenback. The couple lives next to the church, starting their 14th year of service there.

Looking back, Donna and Steve are so grateful to their church, friends and family, including daughters Alisha, Erin and Heather, for all of the support. Donna received about 90 cards as she recovered in Nashville.

She said she absolutely believes in the power of prayer; that is what has brought her to this place.

“Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to pray for,” she said “With this transplant, someone has to die to give up the lungs. They are not a living donor. That is hard to pray for. But I realized I don’t have to know what to pray for. I just have to say ‘I’m in your hands.’”


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