A COVID patient goes home after a rare double-lung transplant
Mayra Ramirez was the first of a small but growing number of people whose only hope of surviving the coronavirus was to replace their lungs.
Mayra Ramirez of Chicago, recipient of the first double-lung transplant. “I want you to show the scars,” she said. “I want people to see what this virus does to a person.” —Sebastian Hidalgo / The New York Times The last thing that Mayra Ramirez remembers from the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago is calling her family to say she had COVID, was about to be put on a ventilator and needed her mother to make medical decisions for her. Ramirez, 28, did not wake up for more than six weeks. And then she learned that on June 5, she had become the first COVID patient in the United States to receive a double-lung transplant. On Wednesday, she went home from the hospital. Ramirez is one of a small but growing number of patients whose lungs have been destroyed by the coronavirus and whose only hope of survival is a lung transplant. “I’m pretty sure that if I had been at another center, they would have just ended care and let me die,” she said in an interview Wednesday. The surgery is considered a desperate measure reserved for people with fatal, irreversible lung damage. Doctors do not want