NEW GLOUCESTER — Friday marked the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of George and Amy Carman and their daughter, Annie.

George, 44, in declining health from cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease, received a life-saving gift, a double lung transplant in a roughly 10-hour procedure on Thursday. A surgical team at New York Presbyterian Hospital gave life and hopes to the firefighter whose fight for survival has never wavered.

Late Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after surgery, George Carman remained in critical but stable condition, according to Gloria Chin of the Media Office of Public Affairs at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Fellow firefighter Scott Doyle of New Gloucester has sent a steady stream of e-mail updates to the public.

George’s mother-in-law Shirley Oliver said by telephone Friday night that George was doing exceptionally well. She said he sat in a chair for two hours Friday and is feeling much better. His wife, Amy, has been at his side in the Critical Care Unit of the hospital.

“We hope he’ll be out of the unit and in a room by Monday or Tuesday,” said Oliver, who lives in Millinocket with her husband, Dave. The couple will stay in New Gloucester caring for their granddaughter until the family is reunited.

“I love him so much; look what he’s been through,” Shirley Oliver said.

Her husband, Dave, has been the treasurer of New Lungs for George, a group that has raised more than $200,000 to aid the family with expenses not paid by insurance. So far, funds have paid for 21 trips to New York City, hotel expenses and meals.

And, in the next six months, the funds will help defray living expenses until his health is adequately restored.

“George is at least 24 hours ahead of where he should be in his recovery,” Doyle said. “This is chilling; it makes the hairs keep going up and down on my arms.”

Doyle accepted George’s request to manage his campaign New Lungs for George in November 2004.

“I couldn’t say no,” Doyle said. “I have a great respect and found it not only takes a village to help a citizen, but a state to make this an actual reality.” Though 80 percent of the donations have come from the people of Maine, contributions have arrived from Hawaii and overseas.

“Our goal is to raise $300,000 and we’re two-thirds of the way, so far,” Doyle said.

From left, New Gloucester firefighter George Carman, his daughter Annie, wife Amy and  Capt. Scott Doyle of the New Gloucester Fire Department get together before George’s operation. Doyle has been the campaign manager for “New Lungs for George” since 2004.  On Thursday, George was the recipient of a double lung transplant at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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