New Transplant Technique Breathes Life Into Lungs


The medical risks of the ex vivo transplants are relatively the same as the traditional transplant, and the recovery time is the same. Ideally, any patient who needs a lung transplant for any reason could potentially qualify for the procedure.

"This will be become an opportunity to match the needs of very sick group of patients," D'Ovidio said.

Bloch's bronchoscopy showed no signs of rejection.

"I believe it's because I got clean lungs," Block said. "When people ask me what they should do to help, I say they should be organ donors."

Less than four months after her transplant, Block is still in the throes of recovery. The transplant has forced her to forever give up one of her favorite hobbies, gardening, because of the potential bacterial dangers it poses to her vulnerable lungs.

While "not being able to garden is a crime," Block says, she's growing to believe the sacrifice is worth her new lungs.

"Sometimes, I feel trapped," she said, "but I know that feeling lessens over time."

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