Beck, who is in need of a double lung transplant, was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension 19 years ago while seeing a doctor at the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre.
“I got sick one time — it got progressively bad over two weeks,” he said.
In Burin, Beck said the physician he saw was new to the hospital and had come from the U.S.
“He knew what I had when he seen me that night at the hospital. Only for him diagnosing that so quick, I might not be around today.”
Beck said the condition had a major impact on his day-to-day life.
“It causes shortness of breath, fatigue,” he said.
Other symptoms include loss of appetite, an increased risk of infections and looking flushed. To help manage his condition, he wears a 24-hour infusion pump that releases Flolan, a medication that helps to widen narrowed blood vessels in the lungs and other parts of the body, and inhibition of platelet clumping.
Beck and his wife leave Newfoundland on Jan. 12 to fly to Toronto where he will stay until he receives the much-anticipated call that donor organs are available.
“I’ll be put on the (transplant) list right away,” said Beck. “But waiting is the thing.”
Patsy Beck said there is no way to know for sure how long it could take for her husband to find the needed organs.
“We could be up there not even a month and get it right away,” she said.
During their time in Toronto, the couple will be staying in a one-bedroom furnished apartment near the hospital so they can be ready should the call come.
“You have got to be there ready to answer the call, because if not, they will go on to the next person,” she said.
With the travel date quickly approaching, Beck said there are a number of things going through his mind.
“It makes you think,” he said. “You’re a bit nervous. You’re going up there — then you got to be wondering if you’re coming back. But then you got to stay positive, too, right, to have a good outcome.”
As for the transplant, Beck said he hopes there is not a lengthy wait.
“I am hoping to receive it, and I am hoping to be home before the new year again,” he said.
Family members are working on fundraisers to help with their expenses while they are staying in Toronto.