Lung Transplants

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Lung Transplants
6
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 3:27pm

Last night I finally was able to watch this episode of NY Med.  If you haven't seen it, they follow around doctors and nurses at several NYC hospitals.  On this episode, they were able to do a successful lung transplant on a woman with cystic fibrosis.  It was an amazing story, she got the call the day after attending a big fundraiser to raise money for transplant patients.   I got teary-eyed watching an update on her and her first attempt at surfing.  

Do you know anyone in the CF world that has had a lung transplant?

Avatar for adamsmomplus2
Community Leader
Registered: 09-09-2000
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 5:34pm

I don't personally know anyone who has had a lung transplant, but last year dh contacted the family of a woman who needed a transplant immediately. He met all of the criteria for a live donor, but unfortunately, she passed away before the surgery could be scheduled. She was too far away for dh to be tested because her need was so immediate, but once 2 donors were identified, she wasn't well enough for the transplant.

Yesterday I read that Lauren Detrich (Lo), whose mother wrote a book about her life with a child with CF called "The Spirit of Lo," passed away at age 28. She had had 2 lung transplants.

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Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 11:41am
So sad :smileysad:

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2005
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 6:40pm
We don't actually know anyone else with CF, other than the other members of this board. Once on Grey's Anatomy they did an episode about a guy with CF who was getting a lung transplant, but they found out his girlfriend also had CF. They wouldn't do it unless they agreed to stop seeing each other, so she wouldn't pass anything to his new, healthy lungs.

I know there are other message boards out there for CF and the people on there are continually talking about lung transplants. I don't ever get on them because I don't want to know what it's going to be like when Emily gets to that point!

Hopefully she does well. I don't think the life expectancy after lung transplant is actually that long - maybe around 5 years?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2005
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 6:41pm
Wow! What an incredible thing for your dh to offer. If you don't mind me asking, how did he know about her and what are the criteria for a live donor? Is it incredibly risky?
Avatar for adamsmomplus2
Community Leader
Registered: 09-09-2000
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 12:12am

We found out about it on Facebook. There was a page put up by the woman's family and a friend of mine in San Diego was acquainted with them. Dh contacted them because they needed his blood type and the person needed to be over 5'11" in order for the donated lobes from 2 donors  to be large enough to supply an adequate breathing capacity as all 5 lobes (if I'm remembering correctly). She had been featured on the news in San Diego. Since dh fit both criteria, he called the family contact. They had a living donor for one lung and were looking for the second when she became to ill for the transplant.

The risks to the donors mostly have to do with standard surgery risks. In addition, a lobe donor can only do so once and it results in about a 20% decrease in lung capacity. 

Even though dh was not taken to the point of being a donor, it was very humbling and touching for me what he was willing to do for a stranger, essentially paying it forward. What he said was, "Well, I would hope that someday someone would do the same for Sarah, so why wouldn't I do this for someone now." It was really hard to feel justified in being annoyed at him for anything for a long time after that.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2005
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 6:10pm
I agree...everything else, like not picking up his dishes or clothes doesn't really matter compared to that!