'Doc, Thank You for Not Giving Up on Me': COVID Patient Gets Double Lung Transplant

June 12, 2020

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It is believed to be the first double-lung transplant in the United States involving a patient with COVID-19, and doctors at Northwestern say they are hopeful the recipient will make a full recovery.

The 10-hour surgery was Friday, and doctors say the woman in her 20s is stable and improving.

Northwestern says double-lung transplants have been done on COVID patients in Vienna, Austria, and in China, but this is apparently the first in the U.S.

Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern, performed the operation. He said hopefully the procedure can be used more widely.

“I hope that this is not a one-in-ten-million situation. We hope that this is going to be a life-saving intervention,” he said Thursday in comments to reporters.

“We’ve already started to receive calls from different parts of the country, and we are recognizing that a lot of patients in the country are in a similar situation.”

Dr. Bharat says the young woman may get to go home in about four weeks.

He says she told him: “Doc, thank you for not giving up on me.”

The novel coronavirus can lead to lung-destroying complications and death for some patients who develop COVID-19.

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