USA Roller Sports

Lou (pictured in the middle with glasses) just competed in his first speed skating competition in over 30 years with Piedmont Racing in Greensboro NC at their Thanksgiving Classic Event. 

Lou had a double lung transplant at Duke Hospital on Nov 24 2017, right on 2 years ago.   He had been sick with a slowly deteriorating genetic lung disease that was only diagnosed with in 2011. By the end of 2015 Lou had to give up his job and was on oxygen most of the time.   He spent about 8-9 months in and out of hospital and in physical rehab during 2016/17. In late Oct 2017 they told him at Duke that he had about 6 weeks left to live. There was nothing more they could do.  He went on the transplant list and 3 weeks after that on Thanksgiving night he got the call.  Lou spent almost a month in hospital then another working out at their rehab in Durham NC.  He and his wife had to relocate to an apartment by the hospital for those 3 months and leave their 7 and 10 year old kids at the time with his mother in law who came up from Louisiana to look after them. 

After getting back to Greensboro NC, Lou started the long recovery and rehab.  Prior to the transplant the doctors at Duke had asked Lou what he would want to do if I ever got the opportunity to get new lungs.  He told them he wanted to get back on skates.  After just 4 months Lou sent the team at Duke a short video of him skating outdoors. They were amazed.  Lou spent that summer and winter getting back to a normal weight and then found Piedmont Racing in Greensboro.  Lou had raced for a few years back in the 80s in Australia.  He is from Melbourne.  They took Lou in and he has been working up to racing this last Thanksgiving - his 2 year “lungaversary”.  His wife and kids got to come and see him race for the first time.  After such a rough few years for them it was so good to give them something to smile about.

 

Here is Lou's personal post from Facebook on the weekend:

“Wow what a great Thanksgiving weekend! I am so lucky to have been able to compete for the first time in many years. Thanks to my donor and their family I am able to achieve something I only dreamt about when I was sick for all that time. 

A couple of years prior to transplant I had bought new skate boots from Bont Quad Skates as my old Galaxy boots had finally given up. I got so ill that I never got around to mounting my plates on them. My parents came to see me during my recovery and my Dad helped me get them all setup again. They are perfect thanks to him. 

I had told the transplant team at Duke Hospital that it was my goal to get back on skates if I ever got the gift of new lungs. This weekend I was able to fulfill the dream of racing with a skate team again. And what a team!! Not only do I get to spend time and race with some amazing people, they are also some of the best skaters I’ve ever met. Thanks especially to Jody and Sandie Perdue Peeden who have tirelessly encouraged me to keep pushing these last few months. The whole #PiedmontRacing family have been nothing short of wonderful to me since I joined earlier this year. 

This Friday was also the first time Heather and the kids would see me skate in a competition. Especially for Keegan and Evie, I am so glad to have made them proud of their Dad. They have all had such a rough and emotional few years as my health declined. I know this made them smile 😃. 

I want to thank everyone that continues to push me along this journey. Especially my family and close friends. I have been so blessed to feel the warmth of your love time and time again. I am continually humbled by the many people reaching out to connect and check on me. Also the many friends who were so generous when my family needed it. Thank you to my medical team who brought me back from the brink to where I am today. 

Great to see our family guests Vicki, Erica and D'Ashia here for the holiday ❤️ Thank you for coming out and supporting me!

The most thanks to Heather who has been with me through everything. She alone knows what it has taken to get me here. It has never been easy. She has known every setback, every disappointment, every fork in the road and has been the rock that has kept our family moving forward every single time. Thank you so much for your 💪🏻❤️“

 

Congratulations Lou from Team USA I USA Roller Sports!!!...your persistence and a positive attitude is something we can all be proud of!!!