Lung Transplant Patient Stories

The University of Maryland Medical Center's Lung Transplantation Program has saved the lives of hundreds of patients who received transplants. By replacing lungs which have ceased to function effectively, the program has given new life -- new energy and new possibilities -- to people whose lives had been restricted by debilitating conditions.

Here are a few of our patients and their stories.

Special UMMC Effort Speeds Up Lung Transplant for Virginia Woman

Heather Cronin received her first lung transplant in 2006, but chronic rejection destroyed that transplant within a year. By 2015, she needed a second transplant to keep her alive. Read more about Heather's journey to transplant.

Double-lung and heart transplant saves father's life

Jose Fernandez, Sr., was never told how bad his heart problems were until he came to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The result? Life-saving double-lung and heart transplant surgery.  Watch as he and his wife, Brenda, discuss their experience with the University of Maryland Medical Center's staff.

COPD Patient Receives Lung Transplant

tim koelble returns homeTim Koelble wasn’t sold on receiving a lung transplant, even though it was apparent it was his only option if he wanted to extend his life.

Active his whole life, Koelble didn’t have energy to do just about anything anymore. It didn’t matter where he was, whether he was sitting or lying down, he could fall asleep at a moment’s notice. But the fear of dying on the operating table and the unknown of what his life could be like post-surgery was enough to keep him from pursuing a life-saving operation.

“Finally I got to the point where I looked at my wife and I said ‘it’s time to go,’” Koelble said. “I was tired of feeling like I did.”

Click here to read the rest of Tim's story.

Surfer's lungs revived by ECMO system

Garth Thorpe's lungs failed after he contracted an infection during a trip overseas and he was placed on an external breathing machine while his lungs healed. Watch this video to learn more about his experience at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

After infection, mother requires double-lung transplant

Six weeks removed from the birth of her second child, Brittany Davenport found herself gasping for air and went to the University of Maryland Emergency Department. She was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening lung condition. Davenport required a double-lung transplant to save her life.


Woman with Pulmonary Fibrosis Receives Double Lung Transplant After ECMO

Daisy with Pham on ECMODaisy Oyenuga didn’t want to believe she was sick at just 30 years old. When she moved to the U.S. from Nigeria by herself at age 15, she was set on having fun and doing her own thing. She never thought she would need a transplant. But that wasn't the case.

Daisy was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that scars the lungs and affects the flow of oxygen to the bloodstream.

Daisy’s prognosis was advanced because she had not seen a primary care doctor in years, so her symptoms had gone unrecognized. She was referred to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), under the care of pulmonologist Irina Timofte, MD.

Click here to read the rest of Daisy's story.