RT Role in Marriage Proposal Featured on Megyn Kelly TODAY

 Updated: February 14, 2018

  Tags: AARC MembersCOPD

RTs Shelly Asher and Margaret Gill helped Don Smith propose to Krystal Shaffer
RTs Shelly Asher, far left and Margaret Gill, far right, from Community Howard Regional Health hospital, helped Don Smith pop the question to Krystal Shaffer in December of 2016.

Lots of good things happen every day in pulmonary rehabilitation programs, but given the age and health of most PR participants, marriage proposals are not among them.

Not true for the PR program at Community Howard Specialty Hospital in Kokomo, IN.

Thanks in part to the respiratory therapists who work in the program, lung transplant recipient Don Smith got down on one knee in December of 2016 and popped the question to fellow lung transplant recipient Krystal Shaffer, and they shared their story in honor of Valentine’s Day this morning on Megyn Kelly TODAY.

Three became two

Don and Krystal met after chronic respiratory conditions brought them together at the PR program to prepare for what they both hoped would soon be lung transplants.

Don was suffering from severe COPD and Krystal was battling a range of chronic respiratory conditions that were triggered by an environmental infection.

They became good friends, and along with Don’s wife Janet, proceeded on their journey with mutual love and support.

When Janet suddenly died of esophageal cancer in December of 2015 Don didn’t even consider he’d ever remarry.

But after both he and Krystal received their new lungs at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis — he in the spring of 2016 and she in August of the same year — things slowly changed.

She said yes!

On Dec. 12, 2016, they were both back in their pulmonary rehab program when Don suddenly appeared with a dozen red roses.

With their respiratory therapists looking on, he asked her to marry him and she said yes!

Watch the Megyn Kelly TODAY segment

Read the IU Health story for more on Don and Krystal

Read the Kokomo Perspective article for a look at the couple in the Community Howard PR program