Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Loyola Lung-Kidney Transplant Patient Wins Bronze Medal in 2011 World Transplant Games

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Nathan Weimer, a patient at Loyola University Medical Center who has undergone transplants of both lungs and one kidney, has won a bronze medal for bowling in the 2011 World Transplant Games.

Weimer, 21, of Naperville, Ill., rolled 480 in three games, an average of 160 per game. The 2011 games were held in Sweden, and Weimer plans to compete in the 2013 Transplant Games in South Africa.

"I told him to bring home another medal," said Dr. James Gagermeier, medical director of Pulmonary Medicine, who is providing Weimer’s long-term follow-up care.

"Nathan has a very positive attitude," Gagermeier added. "He has dealt with a lot of adversity with great resilience."

Weimer was born with cystic fibrosis, a disease in which thick, sticky mucus builds up in the lungs and other organs. At age 9, he underwent a double-lung transplant. The medications he took to prevent rejection led to kidney failure, so he underwent a kidney transplant when he was 16.

Weimer has bowled in leagues since he was 9. He now belongs to two winter leagues and one summer league and averages 210 per game. Last January, he rolled a perfect 300 game (12 consecutive strikes). He hopes to join the Professional Bowlers Association tour some day, if he can get his average up to around 215. Weimer's performance in the Transplant Games was significantly below his normal scores.

"It was a rough day for me," he said. "I was tired from the flight and was mentally off my game."

But he still had a great time.

"There were athletes from all over the world," he said. "I enjoyed meeting people like me who have had life-changing transplants."

Weimer works at a UPS store. Coworkers there, along with members of his church, helped sponsor his trip to Sweden. With so many supporters, he was glad to bring back a bronze medal. But next time, he said, he plans to bring back the gold.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.