“To think that I was only a few days old and now have a second chance at life is a miracle,” said Francisco Medellin.
HUSTON – A week after 70-year-old Francisco Medellin learned he had COVID-19, he turned blue. His family took him to Memorial Herman Woodlands Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia caused by COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
“Mr. Medellin’s blood oxygen level was in the ’60s, sometimes sinking in the’ 50s,”
For the next six weeks, doctors treated the retired construction worker with steroids, remdezivir and convalescent plasma. Nothing happened.
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“After all these treatments, he still needed 80 to 100 percent oxygen at rest,” said Jotula, who is also the medical director of Memorial Hermann’s lung transplant program. “At this point, we found that the only way for him to survive was to have a double lung transplant.”
UTHealth the transplant surgeons at Memorial Hermann were the first in Texas to perform a double lung transplant on a patient whose lungs were severely damaged by COVID-19.
“The most common cause of death from patients with COVID-19 is lung damage. I believe that in the future we will see even more patients who need a lung transplant because of this virus, “said Dr. Manish Patel, surgical director of the lung transplant program at Memorial Hermann and the surgeon who performed the Medellin transplant. .
Medellin was alert and walking days after her surgery on August 26 and had already been transferred to a rehabilitation center to regain her strength.
“To think that I was only a few days old and now have a second chance at life is a miracle,” Medellin said. “I am extremely grateful to the team that saved me and gave me the chance to return to my family.”
Prior to his transplant, Medellin was his wife’s primary caregiver. He has nine children and 32 grandchildren and said he can’t wait to be with them again.