William Drabant, Baldwin City, Kansas
Our first adult liver and lung transplant recipient gets back to living
William Drabant has battled cystic fibrosis since birth. Each year, the disease progresses and takes an even greater toll on his body.
Eventually, every day became a struggle for William—a struggle to breathe, a struggle to manage his constant cough. He needed a double lung transplant, but because he also had severe liver disease, his health was even more compromised.
Then, in August 2012, after a thorough assessment and time spent on the transplant wait list, William became the first adult at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center to undergo a liver and double lung transplant. Only 55 such surgeries have been performed in the United States to date, according to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing.
"Cases in which patients have severe lung and liver disease are unusual," says G. Alexander Patterson, MD, Washington University chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Patterson was the surgeon for the lung transplantation portion of the procedure.Continued ...