A divorced couple reunited last month to donate parts of their lungs to their son for a life-saving double lung transplant, USC and the family announced Tuesday.
The donors, Darlene Pinkerton and Paul Hartup, divorced for 17 years and both since remarried, held hands before going into separate operating rooms to help their son Ty, 21, who suffers from cystic fibrosis.
"It felt very good," Hartup said. "For the first time in a long time, even before the divorce, Darlene and I were able to hug one another, say, 'I love you, and we can do this.' "
The operation took place at USC University Hospital on June 29. Ty Hartup was in guarded condition Tuesday. Paul Hartup, 44, was released, and Pinkerton, 40, was awaiting release. All three are from San Diego.
The surgery was the third double lung lobar transplant performed using lobes from parent donors, said Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes, who has performed all three surgeries. The first was done in January and the second in May.
Like the first two recipients, Ty Hartup was dying from cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that attacks the lungs and kills half its victims by age 30.