Standing room only
Matt DeFina says if his life could be compared to a “Texas Hold’em” poker hand, he might have been holding a 2 and a 6 when he was born. That did not stop him, however, from learning to play the cards he was dealt, and he wound up with a royal flush when the “river card” (last card) was played.
DeFina made the card room analogy when he returned to his hometown Sunday to speak before a packed house at the Fourth Street Church of God to let folkssee for themselvesthe extreme makeover that he has encountered by virtue of his double lung-transplant operation, which was performed on May 15.
DeFina likened his life before the operation to a 1.0 version of himself and after the transplant like that of a 2.0 version. Version 1.0 of Matt DeFina began when DeFina was born in November 1977. DeFina was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 20 days old. Doctors told his parents, Sherri and Chuck DeFina, that they could expect to have him with them for about 4 years.
The pessimistic prognosis notwithstanding, DeFina managed to live a relatively normal childhood. The disease did not appear to rob him of any part of his early life. He was active in sports and had perfect attendance in elementary school. He excelled in middle school and high school. Looks, however, were deceiving...