California Man Undergoes 'Breathing Lung' Transplant

Fernando Padilla, 57, is the first U.S. patient to receive a living lung.
2:06 | 11/28/12

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Transcript for California Man Undergoes 'Breathing Lung' Transplant
Onboard this helicopter and inside this box living lungs at UCLA transplant surgeons hope. Will restore life to a man who could. Barely breathe that was -- pneumonia that was. Buckeyes seven. Nothing ever hindered my -- get -- young -- mixed up. The condition called pulmonary fibrosis will slowly hardening the lungs of 57 year old Fernando Padilla -- -- Loma. He was tethered to his oxygen tank he's only hope a lung transplants. Could -- -- You know I had better -- good things for me. But this long time construction worker who helped build the very hospital he's staying in. -- wanted to do more he volunteered to be part of a new clinical trial examining the delivery of living lungs. During transport the organ is infused with blood and oxygen look closely and you -- the lungs breathe on their own. It maintains the donor loans. Outside of the human body. On a box in -- near physiological states. Rather than wait for a frozen organ that -- doctor Abbas are -- holly the director of the Ronald Reagan used Celia heart lung transplant program. Was able to get the lungs of function in Fernando -- a way. In three days he was walking in less in two weeks he's going home. If you're way ahead of we'll be expected this point. Lungs are the most difficult to transplant because there's so delicate doctors say 80% of total loans are used because they -- in poor health. This technology allows surgeons to clean the Airways in his medications and basically repair the lungs before transplantation. We are hoping that this will make the patients feel better. There will be able to resume their normal lives doctor and -- hopes the technology will expand the donor pool by restoring more potential organs it's promising that the fanatic knows it would mean nothing without the sacrifice of his donor and his family -- I -- -- from. -- --

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

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