MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Medical Center has performed its 750th lung transplant, a milestone that places Loyola first in Illinois by a wide margin, and among an elite handful of lung transplant centers worldwide.
The 750th patient was John Bauer, 66, of Manteno, Ill., who before the transplant had needed an oxygen tank for five years. He now is looking forward to doing normal activities again, such as riding a bike, taking a walk and traveling with his wife, Sue.
John and Sue Bauer have been married for 35 years. They have four children and eight grandchildren, with two more grandchildren on the way.
“I have a sense of relief now that I will be able to be with my wife and kids and grandkids for years to come,” he said.
Dr. Michael Eng, who performed the lung transplant, said Bauer’s prognosis is excellent and he should enjoy a normal life. “Mr. Bauer’s case is very typical of what we have been doing at Loyola for a long time,” Eng said.
Bauer’s lung condition began as a mild case of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He was still able to work six or seven days a week as an insurance claims supervisor. After being hospitalized with double pneumonia, however, his COPD progressed and he was forced to retire. But since receiving a left lung transplant, Bauer has been able to breath normally again.
Loyola’s 750 transplants include single-lung transplants, double-lung transplants and heart-lung transplants. Of the 107 U.S. transplant programs reporting lung transplant programs, Loyola has the ninth largest cumulative volume, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Loyola’s multidisciplinary Lung Transplantation team provides patient-centered care and individualized treatment plans. The team includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, pulmonologists, transplant nurse coordinators, nurse practitioners, procurement nurses, chaplains, perfusionists, physical therapists, dietitians, financial coordinators, psychologists, clinical pharmacists, social workers, support groups and home-care nurses.
“It’s an awesome team,” Bauer said. “I have total confidence in everybody. I can’t overemphasize how great the entire staff here has been and how much concern they all have shown for me.”