Air Force vet nearly dies before lung transplant, climbs Carew Tower for charity

Man nearly dies, gets double-lung transplant, will climb Carew

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Just two years ago, retired Air Force man Scot Ashton received two new lungs. Sunday he used them to ascend the Carew Tower’s 45 floors—804 stairs—as part the Fight for Air Climb.

Ashton retired from the Air Force in 2007 and now works with veterans. He was stationed in Japan for 20 of his 24 years in the Air Force. That’s where he met his wife and started a family.

“Every day is a blessing," Ashton said. “I truly believe in prayer.”

Ashton is fortunate to be alive after IPF, a form of lung disease, nearly took his life in 2018.

“With my particular case, it happened so quickly, and I was going down so fast that the only thing to save my life was an immediate transplant,” Ashton recalled.

After being on the transplant list for just 12 hours, Ashton received two new lungs at a hospital in Columbus.

Scot Ashton
Scot Ashton (Source: WXIX)

“The last thing I remember was being at St. Elizabeth Hospital and them saying, ‘You’re not doing so well,’ and essentially, ‘You’re probably going to die,'" Ashton said. "And then when I woke up with my wife was next to me, and she said, ‘Honey, you’re here at Ohio State and you’ve got two new lungs.’ And I was like, I guess I’m still dreaming.”

Now Ashton wants to give back to the American Lung Association. He says not only did this disease nearly take his life, but both of his parents died of lung disease too.

“Having Pulmonary Fibrosis is essentially a death sentence,” Ashton explained.

Ashton and his team, the ‘Winded Warriors,’ participated in the Fight for Air Climb on Feb. 9.

Scot Ashton and his wife.
Scot Ashton and his wife. (Source: WXIX)

Ashton’s advice is to take life slow and have fun.

“For people that enjoy life, you never know what’s going to happen in the future, so enjoy life and don’t sweat the small things.”

If you would like to help Ashton’s team, you can find information here.

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