Man receives rare double lung transplant after battle with COVID-19

The doctor who performed the surgery talks about the double lung transplant and giving his patient a second chance at life.
2:47 | 03/05/21

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Transcript for Man receives rare double lung transplant after battle with COVID-19
A great one, one man's second chance at life from doctors who performed a rare double lung transplant after he was devastated by covid-19. Juju Chang has the story. Good morning, juju. Reporter: Good morning to you, George. Leo was dying of covid then he became the third ever covid patient to get a double lung transplant in the U.S. Now, northwestern university hospital which is pioneering this type of surgery gave us amazing access not just to the surgical team but to an equally remarkable family. At 43 Leo was loving life as a husband and father. Active, healthy with his zest for life. But in the spring of 2020 covid ripped through his household. By may he wound up in the hospital put on a ventilator. Transplant is all should be the option of last resort. Reporter: Though free of covid it destroyed his lungs meaning the organ simply couldn't recover. You know, your lungs are pretty badly damaged. Reporter: But a rare and risky double lung transplant turned out to be his only hope. You feeling okay? Yeah? You feel like you have gotten stronger in the last few days? Yeah? Reporter: Dr. Bharat is spearheading the effort. The first to try it on a covid patient and six days after he was listed for transplant, there's word of a potential don't -- donor. Thumb's up if everything is fine. Can you please send me pictures. Yes, sir. That's great. You know, so the lungs are usable and it's going to be a go. Reporter: Suddenly it's go time. Dr. Bharat heads to his room with the life-changing news. After a harrowing surgery he survives but is still not out of the woods. There is a long brutal recovery ahead. You said you want to eat a hamburger so here is a hamburger for you. Is it good? All right. I want to say thank you. You're the best. Yeah, you are the best. Reporter: Now we've been following Leo's recovery for months. Dr. Bharat has gone on to do 12 of these surgeries and consulted with hospitals around the country and combined they have done 50 of these lifesaving procedures. Truly pioneering medicine. It certainly is. Thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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