Phil Landrum Waits for Important Call - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/24/04

Phil Landrum Waits for Important Call

An important call came this week from Baylor Hospital in Dallas, that Lubbock businessman Phil Landrum has been moved to the #1 spot on the waiting list for a liver transplant, but that liver is only half the miracle he's waiting for.

Phil Landrum started at Manchester Tank as a welder 35 years ago. He climbed his way up to general manager about 15 years ago. Recently, as a show of support, his friends and co-workers bought him a chair because he can't climb the stairs to get to his office anymore.

It took about a year for doctors to diagnose his sudden weight loss. It's Familial Amyloidosis. That means Phil's liver is producing a bad protein that is damaging his digestive system and melting his muscles.

At the onset, Phil lost about 70 pounds in a matter of months. An avid golfer who is just 57 years old.

"I'm so weak I can't do the things I like to do," says Phil Landrum, G.M., Manchester Tank.

Like play golf with Carla, his wife of 31 years.

"It does make you stop and cherish the little things you've got," says Carla Landrum, Phil's wife.

The only cure is a liver transplant. But in Phil's case, the diseased protein has moved on to the heart, so he needs a double transplant now -- a liver and a heart.

"A lot of the symptoms I have my mom had, and each of the girls have a 50/50 chance of having this," says Phil.

"They can test for the gene, but as far as it showing up, it can take 30, 40, 50 years to show up," says Carla.

That's why two of the girls have opted not to test for the protein. Believing now, it's more important to them to enjoy life now, and take the time for a family picture.

Especially since the call for a double transplant may come at any minute, sending Phil and Carla to Dallas for this very high risk procedure.

"If I'm gonna have a chance, this is it. Because the other option is not good," says Phil.

"I'm at peace with where I'm at. I know that God's gonna take care of this, whichever way he wants, and I'm okay with that."

A Sunday school class recently gave Phil a pager to wear so that it would vibrate every time one of them sends him a prayer. If you'd like to page Phil with your prayers, the number to call is (214) 898-0019, then when it beeps, press 7777.

We'll keep you posted on Phil's flight to Dallas when he is called for that double transplant.

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