Jose Erasmo Lopez

Because Brenda Lopez works as a surgical technician in the Fondren operating room at Houston Methodist — one of the busiest ORs in Texas for heart and lung transplants — she knew that Houston Methodist doctors would be the ones to save her father.

Jose Erasmo Lopez was first diagnosed in May 2009 with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes the lungs to stiffen and scar. He went in for testing after complaining of discomfort and chest pain, two common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis. He did well until January 2010, when symptoms suddenly worsened and he could not breathe. Brenda rushed her dad to the ER, where doctors determined he needed an immediate lung transplant.

Suffering from a continuous fever and having a rare blood type did not make Jose a likely transplant candidate. Just when it looked like he might lose his fight, a generous family donated their loved one’s organs, and Brenda’s father underwent a successful transplant that gave him a second chance at life.

"My father is doing remarkably — he has a whole new outlook on life," Brenda says. "Because of my knowledge and the work I have done in the Fondren’s OR, my father was able to receive the best care when he needed it most."