Sandi Croaker stands behind her husband Lloyd

Sandi Croaker stands behind her husband Lloyd

Couple garners support

Fundraiser at The Green Friday in support of Lloyd Croaker, who is awaiting a double lung transplant

A Vernon couple awaiting a life-saving call for a double lung transplant is grateful for the support of the community.

Lloyd and Sandi Croaker were told earlier this year that the man of the house was in need of a new pair of lungs.

“It’s a little scary,” admits 57-year-old Lloyd, a father of two girls and grandfather of five boys who suffers from COPD and has work-related damage to his lungs.

Lloyd was put on the transplant list Jan. 20, and it could be any day that he gets the call and will need air ambulance to Vancouver.

“We have a bag packed, it’s even in the car today,” said Sandi, 51, who met her “Sweets” 34 years ago at the Vernon Winter Carnival Parade.

While the surgery is daunting enough, the required 4-6 month stay in Vancouver is an additional burden the couple is facing.

“A lot of people are under the assumption that you go to Vancouver and everything is covered for you,” said Sandi, noting food, rent, parking and even finding someone to watch their dog and look after their home on short notice.

As a result, friends have pulled together, and with the generosity of The Green, a fundraiser is planned for Friday. Admission is by donation, which enters your name into a draw for a Professional Hands Massage Therapy gift certificate. Entertainment will be provided by HogWild (starting at 9:15 p.m.), there will be bucket draws, a game board, raffles and 50/50.

“The community of Vernon has been outstanding,” said Sandi, a 1982 Armstrong grad.

The couple are dually impressed with the transplant team they’ve met and Steve, a recent double lung recipient who has helped them.

“He has opened our eyes that there is a life after transplant,” said Sandi.

While the couple’s motto is: “for better or worse,” through this past year of failing health and tests, Lloyd being on disability since one of his lungs collapsed in 2006 and the recent news, they are looking forward to a brighter future together.

“We want to be able to run around and chase all these grandbabies,” said Sandi.

Those who can’t make it to the benefit event can also lend their support via www.gofundme.com/ynky2yba