Double lung transplant patient with COVID-19 describes gasping for air
If more of us could see what frontline workers witness in the war against COVID-19 — people gasping for air and lungs shutting down — maybe more people would understand the seriousness of the disease. Thomas Steele has been there. The 50-year-old was healthy with no preexisting conditions, and he was working in sales at a New Braunfels, Texas, construction company when he contracted COVID-19. He didn’t worry about it too much, but then it got bad. He was hospitalized in San Antonio and placed on an ECMO machine, a last-ditch treatment that does the job of a patient’s heart or lungs by moving blood and oxygen. He was tethered to the machine for two months, but still his condition worsened. His lungs deteriorated so severely that he was transferred to Houston Methodist Hospital, where surgeon Dr. Thomas MacGillivray performed a double lung transplant that saved his life.
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