Larry Pontius is a former advertising executive who became director of marketing at Disney. He’s also an author, poet and a lyricist for more than 100 published songs.
He’s also had five lungs.
Larry is a former three- to four-pack a day smoker. Despite the fact that his father died of lung cancer, Larry smoked every day for nearly 30 years. He says he tried everything to quit — hypnotism, gum, patches and shots — but nothing ever took.
Then, in 1990 he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease without a cure. Eventually the only way he was going to survive was with a double lung transplant.
Fortunately, Larry was in otherwise excellent health. A former competitive swimmer, he had always continued to exercise.
So, in 2008, at the age of 68, Larry got a double lung transplant. For awhile, his body responded perfectly. His oxygen levels were way up and he was feeling great. But then, more than a year later, his body started to reject one of the lungs.
He explains going on the transplant list one more time and why he thought he might not make it.
Larry offers lessons for anyone, but especially young people, who continue to smoke.
Want to learn more? Click here to watch our 2008 interview with Larry right after his double-lung transplant.