George Carman, a volunteer firefighter from New Gloucester who has suffered from cystic fibrosis since birth, underwent a double lung transplant Thursday in New York City.

Carman was operated on at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. It was expected to be a 10-hour operation, said Scott Doyle, a friend and chairman of the group “New Lungs for George.”

Supporters have raised more than $200,000 to help pay for the many expenses beyond what health insurance will cover. Those expenses include renting an apartment in New York City so Carman can make constant visits to the hospital. He will be there for at least three months and as long as a year, Doyle said.

When Carman was born, he was not expected to live long. He surprised the medical community by not only surviving, but competing in high school track and the Special Olympics. He is married and has a 12-year-old daughter.

Carman had been on a transplant list since the end of the summer. He has been in and out of Maine Medical Center since October.

Carman learned Wednesday night that a pair of lungs were available for transplant, and he was scheduled for surgery the next day, Doyle said.

He was driven by Northeast Ambulance to New York City, accompanied by two New Gloucester fire-rescue squads.

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