Sharpsburg councilwoman has lung transplant

May 23, 1997


Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg Town Councilwoman Denise Troxell was in stable condition Thursday in a Pittsburgh hospital recovering from a double lung transplant she had on Tuesday, according to a family member.

Troxell, 42, of 114 S. Mechanic St., was flown to Pittsburgh University Medical Center on Monday night for the transplant, said Kathie Rigolage, Troxell's sister. Troxell has had a pilot on standby in case a donor became available, she said.

She had been waiting for about two years for a donor.

At the age of 30, a hole was discovered in Troxell's heart that had been there since childhood, she has said. Although the hole was repaired, it had damaged both her lungs.


Rigolage said Troxell was in surgery for about eight hours on Tuesday morning and was off the respirator by Thursday. She was still in the intensive care unit.

While Troxell didn't have a fever or infection, her family is taking things one day at a time, Rigolage said.

"Tell everybody to keep us in their prayers," Rigolage said.

Troxell will remain in the hospital for another three to four weeks and then must undergo testing. She won't return to Sharpsburg for at least six weeks, Rigolage said.

In January, Troxell became the fourth woman to hold a council seat in Sharpsburg when she was appointed to fill a seat left vacant by Sidney Gale. Gale was appointed vice mayor in January, filling a post left vacant when George Kesler took over as mayor.

A widow, Troxell has lived in Sharpsburg since 1993 with her teenage sons, Sean and Alec.

She left her job as a language arts teacher at Boonsboro Middle School after one year because of her health and has been on permanent disability since 1991.

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