HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) — A Lincoln County Deputy just marked two years since receiving a life-changing gift.

You can find Chris Hogan behind the wheel of a Lincoln County patrol car doing what he loves, keeping the community safe.

But just a few years ago, Hogan thought he’d never wear a badge again.

“It’s for the grace of God and my donor that I’m standing here talking to you today,” Hogan said.

In May of 2020, Hogan, who was a trooper at the time, contracted COVID-19.

His lungs slowly deteriorated and he needed a double-lung transplant.

He was placed on the transplant list in January of 2021.

“My health had deteriorated so much that I needed so much supplemental oxygen just to walk across the living room floor to the kitchen,” Hogan said.

Thanks to an organ donor, he got the transplant two years ago this week on March 22, 2021.

Hogan says every year that goes by is a milestone.

“After you get a transplant, you’re not done. That’s not the end of it. It’s a lifelong journey, there’s ups and downs and there’s lot of maintenance on your health. I work every day to stay healthy, to honor my donor keeping my lungs healthy, and just keep going,” Hogan said.

More than 100,000 adults and kids are on the national transplant waiting list, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“I encourage everybody to become an organ donor. You can be the hero to that person that’s in need down the road,” Hogan said.

That’s why this deputy is sharing his story.

Click here to sign up to be an organ donor.