Filipino in Chicago lives after ‘Covid-to-Covid’ double lung transplant
A Filipino in Chicago is believed to be the first known recipient of successful “COVID to COVID” double-lung transplant in the United States.
There are no signs of Covid infection in his new lungs, and he is expected to fully recover.
Complaining of shortness of breath, Renato Aquino of Glendale Heights drove himself on May 14 last year to a local emergency room, where he was diagnosed with Covid-19.
Aquino isn’t sure how he was infected. He is a phlebotomist and had collected blood samples from coronavirus patients prior to his diagnosis.
His condition quickly worsened. He was placed on a ventilator, his lungs permanently damaged. Aquino was hospitalized several times last year and feared he was going to die.
Fortunately, a donor became available. The donor had recovered from Covid but died from an unrelated cause and hadn’t suffered permanent lung damage.
Aquino’s lung transplant was performed on February 25 by doctors from Northwestern Medicine in Illinois.
“Renato was running out of options and running out of time. So we knew that this was probably his only and last option,” Chief of Thoracic Surgery Dr. Ankit Bharat told news media.
“I feel wonderful. What can I say? Here I am. Thank you. I’m alive,” Renato Aquino said.
The operation represented a milestone in lung transplantation.