TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)- A Tupelo woman is celebrating the one year anniversary of a double lung transplant that saved her life.
The Beene family sitting around the dining room table. It is a close-knit family that has sung gospel music together for forty years. But one member of the Beene family will always remember the 4th of July for more than being America’s birthday. Jeniquez Beene-Long says her problems started six years ago.
“Back in 2013, I was an avid runner, and I got to where to where I couldn’t run, and I couldn’t catch good breath well. So I went from running to walking from walking to nothing,” said Jeniquez Beene-Long.
Eventually, Beene-Long went to the doctor who determined that she had a rare autoimmune disorder which attacked both of her lungs.
“So I went on for about four and a half years and needed oxygen and more oxygen and eventually got to where I needed it 24/7 but I still worked my job, and I still took care of my girls and still was able to function,” said Beene-Long.
But in January of 2018 Beene-Long’s condition worsened to where doctors determined that she needed a lung transplant at UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
“So I ended getting on the transplant list in May, and I got the call in July 2nd. And I had a double lung transplant July 4th, 2018,” said Beene-Long.
And Beene-Long is thankful that she had the support of her family throughout her long ordeal.
“As a mother, it’s been really hard. There were times that I wished I could have taken her place because she’s my third daughter, and she’s been pretty healthy. She had three kids. It’s been really hard,” said Betty Been.
“I had never experienced to have my children being sick; you know that serious. And being a Christian man, we just prayed, and many people prayed for us. God just brought her through,” said J.C. Been.
And now a year after the operation, Long says things have gotten easier.
“I’ve had a few bumps in the road, but it’s been easier. I’ve been admitted probably about six times since the surgery. But right now is my longest span that I’ve gone where I hadn’t been hospitalized for something. And so I’m excited about that,” said Beene-Long.
And Beene-Long is looking forward to when she can return to work.
Beene-Long says she hopes that she will soon be back running in 5K’s.