2012 Barnes-Jewish Hospital Report to the Community

William Drabant

William Drabant
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.

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William Drabant

William Chapman, MD, surgical director of the Transplant Center, performed the liver transplantation.

"The team has performed three or four heart-kidney transplants in addition to other combinations, so we know we work well together," says Chapman.

William is doing well and is back to enjoying the things he loves. And he's thankful for the Transplant Center and the people who cared for him.

"My team—everyone from my surgeons to the respiratory and pulmonary therapists—was great," he says. "I feel like a whole new person."

"This is a milestone for the Transplant Center and another example of the outstanding collaborative effort of our team. We've been treating patients with combined-organ transplant for years, and we have the complex infrastructure needed to manage the process."

Gene Ridolfi, RN, MHA
director of the Transplant Center