Bruce’s Story

“Twenty years ago, I would never have thought this was going to happen to me.”

Faces of Lung Disease:

Bruce’s Story

Did You Know?

About 1 in 5 New Brunswick seniors lives with COPD.

Bruce Stewart is a former miner and long-haul truck driver from Miramichi, New Brunswick. He started working in the mines in 1977, and by 2003, a persistent cough and shortness of breath lead him to get tested for lung disease. Bruce’s doctor told him that he had spots in his lungs, and that he should quit smoking, and working in the mines. 

By 2008, Bruce’s condition had worsened, and he was diagnosed with silicosis and COPD. Decades of working in the mines lead to Bruce’s lungs being severely damaged by the fine particles in the air. “His lungs are as black as black” says his wife Anna, who has to be by Bruce’s side at all times to help care for him, “Its very hard on a family.” 

Bruce requires an oxygen concentrator all day, every day. Because of this, he can no longer work, garden, fish, or do many of the things that once brought him joy in life. Bruce’s loss of quality of life has been one of the hardest things for his family to deal with. 

Bruce was anxious about getting a double lung transplant, even though the operation could save his life. He was worried about what life might be like after the surgery and was certain he didn’t want a transplant. Then Bruce and his wife Anna joined our Lung Transplant Support Group. Speaking with our team and hearing success stories from transplant patients like him inspired Bruce to reconsider getting a transplant.  

“Now, I’m looking forward to going to Toronto for a lung transplant.”

After a few days of testing and assessment, Bruce’s doctors have referred him for a transplant at the Toronto General Hospital. Bruce has since undergone his lung transplant and is recovering well, and is hopeful about his future. 

“Take care of yourself, don’t end up like me. Twenty years ago, I would never have thought this was going to happen to me.” 

Please consider giving a gift today to make a difference in the lives of the 1 in 5 New Brunswickers living with lung disease, like Bruce.  

Together, we can continue funding research for cures to lung disease, counselling patients one-on-one and with our support groups, and providing financial aid to people who need to relocate to Toronto or Montreal to receive their lung transplants. 

Bruce’s Story in his own words. 

Page Last Updated: 28/02/2023