28-year-old first Covid-19 survivor to receive a double-lung transplant in the US

28-year-old Covid-19 survivor due to lung transplant talks about her experience. Photo via Insider

Washington, D.C, United States — A 28-year-old female who survived Covid-19, becomes the first to recieve a double-lung transplant in the US.

Before she was admitted to a Chicago hospital due to symptoms for the virus, Mayra Ramirez said that she was extremely careful about following every health precaution she could.

On April 26, the harrowing experience for the 28-year-old began, when she arrived at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s emergency room.

“All I remember was being put to sleep as I was being intubated and then six weeks of complete nightmares,” she told CNN. “Some of the nightmares consisted a lot of drowning and I attribute that to not being able to breathe.”

The virus had taken a deadly toll on her body, having her lungs irreversibly damaged and the failure of her other organs as well. After spending over a month on a ventilator, the doctors announced that they were unsure if she’d survive. With this tragic news, her family flew from North Carolina to say a final goodbye.

However, the doctors mentioned that there was one option to save her life; a double-lung transplant.

“Without the transplant, she would not have made it,” Dr. Ankit Bharat, the chief of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, adding Ramirez had multiple complications linked to the virus.

Dr. Bharat said that what made her
a good candidate for the rare procedure was the fact that she was young and had otherwise been healthy.

“I looked at myself and I couldn’t recognize my own body,” Ramirez said, after waking up in the hospital following her procedure. “I couldn’t talk, I could barely lift a finger, I couldn’t move. I was in a lot of pain, I was very confused.”

According to a news release from Northwestern Medicine, Ramirez is currently known as the first American to have undergone the procedure after a battle with coronavirus. Although it’s been nearly two months since the surgery, while recovering at home, Ramirez says that she is still weak and struggling to breath.
Ramirez includes in the 4.6 million Americans who have been infected with the newly found Covid-19. At least 154,860 people have died from the virus in the United States.