The previous Illinois record for lung transplants performed in a single year, also set by Loyola, was 50 lung transplants in 1993.
Loyola tied the record Dec. 26 when it performed its 50th lung transplant in 2014. Jeffrey Schwartz, MD, performed a double-lung transplant on John A. Williams, 57, of Peoria, Ill. Mr. Williams had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for years required supplementary oxygen. Prior to his transplant, walking only 100 feet would leave Mr. Williams gasping for breath.
Mr. Williams, 57, is looking forward to fishing, gardening and doing ordinary tasks like grocery shopping and fixing things around the house. “I’m breathing a lot better now,” he said.
The record was broken Dec. 30 when Michael Eng, MD, performed a right-lung transplant on Michael W. Johnson, 62, of Green Bay, Wis. Mr. Johnson had COPD that first began during his teens. He had spent the last six years on supplemental oxygen. Mr. Johnson plans to return to work in a semi-retired position at Murphy Development Inc. He’s looking forward to playing with his grandchildren and going fishing for the first time in years.
The new record is the latest in a series of milestones for Loyola’s lung transplant program:
- Loyola performed the state’s first lung transplant in 1988, and the first double-lung transplant in Illinois in 1990.
- In 2007, Loyola performed the first simultaneous double-lung/kidney transplant in Illinois.
- In 2009, Loyola became one of only five centers in the United States to transplant its 600th lung.
- In May 2014, Loyola became the only center in Illinois to perform five lung transplants in little more than 24 hours.
- Loyola has performed more than 800 lung transplants, by far the most of any center in Illinois.