HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) – There’s nothing like a homecoming after facing a big challenge.
Chris Hogan is a trooper with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, and on March 22 he received a double lung transplant. He came home on Monday to Harrisburg for the first time since then, receiving quite the welcome reception.
“I wanted a big welcome home for him for all of his hard work and dedication to getting himself back on his feet and getting better,” Chris’ wife Wendi Hogan said.
“I did not know it was coming,” Chris said. “I turned on the street, and I see all these lights, and I was like, something’s happening on our block, and as I got closer to the house, ‘That’s by my house, what is going on?'”
Receiving this isn’t exactly a familiar feeling.
“It’s very humbling. I’m not used to that,” Chris said. “But it is inspiring for me to give more of that forward.”
Wendi says a battle with COVID-19 led to the double lung transplant.
“We’ve watched him go from being the strong trooper that he is, going down to struggling to breathe, to not knowing what the future holds for us, to not knowing if he’ll make it or not, to now getting these new lungs,” Wendi said.
“I’m feeling way better than March 21st, I’ll tell you that,” Chris said. “I feel great, it’s nice not to be lugging oxygen around. It’s nice just to be able to walk. I could barely walk before I went in for the transplant.”
Now, he’s walking with a new lease on life.
“Because of the precious gift that the donor gave me, it gave me life, and so I encourage everybody to be an organ donor,” Chris said.
At some point in the relatively near future, there is a fundraiser coming for the family to help with medical expenses; KELOLAND News will be watching for this.