Virus ends daredevil life of double-lung transplant patient


In this March 15, 2020 photo provided by Jean Sinofsky, Joanne Mellady, second from right, poses with family members from front left, Jean Sinofsky, Andrew Smith, Fred Smith, and joyce Smith far right, in Methuen Mass. Mellady, who received a double lung transplant in 2007, died of the coronavirus on March 30, 2020. She was 67. (Jean Sinofsky via AP)

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BOSTON (AP) — Before her double-lung transplant, Joanne Mellady could barely put on a shirt without losing her breath. Afterwards, she barely stopped moving.

Mellady, who died of the coronavirus in March, had a bucket list that made her family blush.

Since getting her transplant in 2007, the widow and former technology consultant from the town of Washington, New Hampshire, traveled in her RV up and down the East Coast and made trips to Alaska and the Grand Canyon.

Mellady, 67, transformed herself from a shy person dependent on oxygen around the clock to a vivacious risk taker willing to try almost anything. Hang gliding, skiing, skateboarding and kayaking were among the thrills she took on.

Before her death, Mellady was talking of a return visit to Alaska this summer and of participating again in the Transplant Games (now postponed). She won medals in bocce, bowling and swimming in past competitions and was hoping to compete in the golf event.

“She had this bucket list she made and went after it with a vengeance,” said Mellady’s sister, Jean Sinofsky. “She appreciated every day. She lived her life like everybody should.”

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