When longtime runner Warren Head couldn’t jog a quarter of a mile without being seriously winded, he knew he had a problem. In 1990, Head was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin or other tissues.
Head’s sarcoidosis affected his lungs and liver. By 2003 his physician, Reginald Mason, MD, at Kaiser Permanente Georgia, had to put Head on oxygen. With Head’s condition worsening, Mason told him that the only alternative was a lung transplant.
Dr. Mason and Faye Corder, RN, coached Head on how to stay on the transplant list and what to expect should a lung become available. On Thanksgiving 2005, Head received a call from the University of Virginia that they had a lung for him. Dr. Mason and Faye Corder telephoned Head after his surgery to check on him.
“The people who work at Kaiser [Permanente] really do care,” said Head. “It’s like they’re on a mission. They have your best interest at heart.”