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Tulsa Radio Icon Needs Double Lung Transplant After Covid-19

Tulsa Radio Icon Needs Double Lung Transplant After Covid-19


Three years after being diagnosed with Covid-19, a Tulsa woman needs a double lung transplant.

“She got Covid and that was a turning point in our lives,” said Lonnie Vaughan.

Martha Vaughan has been a trailblazer in the Tulsa community. She was the first black woman radio station general manager at KJMM 105.3.

“She is a fabulous businesswoman,” said Lonnie Vaughan, Martha’s husband. “She’s touched people all over this city. Martha’s someone you can count on. She’s a friend. She’ll be there when you need her.”

In July 2020, Martha was diagnosed with emphysema. Her husband, Lonnie, says they were very careful during the pandemic knowing the risks to Martha’s health.

“We were doing everything,” said Lonnie Vaughan. “We were wearing gloves everywhere we go. We were wearing masks.”

Unfortunately, she got Covid-19 and her condition got worse. Her lungs and her health started to deteriorate. She’s now suffering from interstitial lung disease.

“We’re not able to walk away from it,” said Lonnie. “It’s still a part of our lives, the effects of it.”

For the last three years, The Vaughan’s have been on this journey and say a double lung transplant is what Martha needs to get better. Lonnie says Martha has lost about 80% usage of her lungs.

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“To save her life that’s exactly what it is,” said Lonnie. “For her to have a hope and to have a future. The lung transplant is the answer for Martha.”

She’s been accepted to UT Southwestern in Dallas as a recipient of a double lung transplant. The Vaughan’s are keeping their phones by their sides 24/7 waiting for the call for a new set of lungs.

“We’re very hopeful about it and we’re very confident that this is the right choice for us,” said Lonnie.

If you’d like to help, a GoFundMe has raised more than $12,000 to offset costs that aren’t covered by insurance and Medicare.

NABJ-Tulsa is also hosting booths at three local festivals to raise money for Martha. They’re selling raffle tickets and taking donations for Martha at the Black Wall Street Legacy Fest, May 27-28, and the Juneteenth Festival, June 16-17.

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