Saturday, March 29, 2008

Miracle Lung Transplant Patient at age 76

Many centers still follow the guidelines written in 1998 that limit lung transplants to age 60 for bi-lateral transplants and age 65 for single-lung transplants. Other centers are gradually replacing this protocol with one of assessing each individual on his or her physical status and the probability of a successful outcome to the transplant. Toronto General Hospital where I received my lung transplant has transplanted several men and women over the age of 70 and it's great to see that the Mayo Clinic is also willing to raise the bar and give more people a second chance at life.

From in Florida:
Did you know 65 years old is the cutoff age for people wanting to receive a lung transplant?

One local man is 76 years old and is the oldest living lung transplant patient to ever walk out of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

"I asked the doctor 'well, what’s the prognosis?' He said, 'well, if you're lucky you have five years.'

Gar Lonberger was 73 when he found out the news he had pulmonary fibrosis, a disease doctors say they do not know the cause and there is no cure.

After Gar couldn't get into any experimental programs, he decided to take another route and apply for a lung transplant, but there was one problem.

"Because of my age, they kept rejecting me for a transplant; 65 is the automatic cut-off age for transplants."

After three years of waiting, Gar says the magic began on October 11, 2007. At the age of 76, Gar went into surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Doctors say he was the oldest patient ever to receive a lung transplant.

"They were leery to do me, but I guess my attitude showed them that I was gonna do it."

Five months later, Gar attends respiratory therapy several times a week to keep his new lung healthy.

"Before it was time to go to the hospital, I was in a wheel chair and I could barely walk 10 feet, and now I can walk a mile and a half almost and it’s no problem to walk."

Gar adds his age has not been a barrier at all. In fact, he says he feels better than ever.

"I feel just like a kid, I feel great. This is the best part of my life because I saw what it was like to die and then I found out what it’s like to really live."

The article notes that Gar would not be in the shape he's in today without respiratory therapy.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see just how permeant virtual memory has become in our everyday lives. It seems like everywhere I turn, I see something with a card slot or USB port, haha. I guess it makes sense though, considering how much cheaper memory has become lately...

Ahhh... who am I to complain. I can't make it through a day without using my R4 / R4i!

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4[/url] BB)