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What it feels like to scream through second-hand lungs

Credit Melissa Bird


This story originally aired on October 21, 2017.

Andre Sanabria discovered at 21 he had a deadly disease, and the only cure was a double-lung transplant.

But that did not stop him from making music. In fact, he says music is what was keeping him alive.

Fearing the risks of an operation, and facing his declining health, he instead focused his time and energy on composing, performing and touring even when he could barely hold a guitar. And this was not quiet music, but metal-tinged hardcore punk. And Sanabria would sometimes sing (or scream) vocals.

Sanabria kept pushing himself, spending years defying the odds, until he was forced to decide if he truly wanted to die on his own terms.

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.