CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- It's a story of hope, inspiration, and gratitude as one man is living a brand new life just one year after a lung transplant.

We first told you about Teon Burford about one year ago. Now, the lung transplant recipient is celebrating a huge milestone, and his family has a message to share.

"Right now I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life," said Teon.

Now, his life looks a lot different.

"Now I'm actually walking all over the neighborhood," said Teon.

He was diagnosed with an unknown lung condition. He was placed on a transplant list, but he contracted COVID-19 in the middle of the pandemic.

The situation was dire. His wife Rachael Buford was worried he wouldn't make it. But, a miracle happened.

"Anyone who donates organs is a hero. They save many lives," said Teon.

One of those lives was Teon. But even after getting the transplant, the road to recovery was far from over.

"A lot of people don't even make it past their first year," he said.

But step by step, Teon did.

February marked his one-year transplant anniversary, or "Lungaversary" as they call it.

"It really made me reflect on a lot of things that I missed out on in life. So, now I'm really doing a lot of nature trails and getting a lot of enjoyment from that," said Teon.

Now the Burfords encourage others to sign up to be organ donors. Rachael said the best gift of all is time.

"I get to see my children happy and thrive again. It's given me one more year with my best friend," said Rachael.

If you're interested in registering to become an organ donor, click here