Woman Gets Double Lung Transplant After COVID-19 Damage

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A 31-year-old Michigan woman who had her lungs severely damaged by COVID-19 successfully received a double-lung transplant only seven weeks after giving birth.

Jackie Dennis underwent the groundbreaking surgery on Jan. 16 in Michigan at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, The Detroit Free Press reported. Dennis had visited a local emergency room in November after she noticed coronavirus symptoms. She was later hospitalized with preeclampsia—an extremely dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure—according to a GoFundMe fundraising page created by her husband, Ricky.

Dennis was induced at 36 weeks while in the hospital and gave birth to her daughter, Mia Rose. But her condition only worsened after birth. She was transferred to the Detroit hospital after plasma infusions and ventilator therapy failed to keep her blood-oxygen levels high.

“Her pregnancy caused her to have a heightened risk of developing this inflammatory syndrome that led to lung failure,” said Dr. Lisa Allenspach, the medical director of Henry Ford Health System’s Lung Transplant Program, according to the report. “Without transplant, she would not have been able to be alive.” (RELATED: Europe’s Oldest Person, A French Nun, Recovers From COVID-19 In Time For 117th Birthday)

When no treatments helped, and Dennis had “0 percent lung function on her own,” doctors placed her on the transplant list. Dennis received a new pair of lungs within ten days.

“She has made a record-breaking recovery. Within a few weeks she was completely off of the ventilator and discharged from the hospital in less than a month, not wearing any oxygen,” Allenspach explained.

“I feel amazing, I feel actually pretty normal,” Dennis said Wednesday.