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Lung Transplant Patient Stories

Our patient stories profile those who have had lung transplants at UPMC. Although everyone’s care experience is unique, we hope that sharing these stories will help prospective patients and their families better understand these procedures and their potential impact on patients’ lives.

Here's how that care has had a positive impact in the lives of some of our patients.

Note: These patients' treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.​​​​​​​​​​​

Richard Callender

Richard was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a serious disease that causes scarring or stiffening of the lungs and makes daily activities like walking, speaking, and eating difficult. 

Richard came to UPMC in 2009 and underwent a transplant evaluation.

» Read Richard's story.

Steve Constable
Steven Constable

In December of 2011, Steve Constable began to feel tired and short of breath. Diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), he thought he had less than three years to live. Since his lung transplant, Steve is doing well and enjoying time with his family.

» Read Steve's story.

Lauren Costa
Lauren Costa

As a baby, Lauren Costa was diagnosed with a life-threatening lung disease. When she learned that a lung transplant could save her life, she began searching for the best place to handle her case. Her search led her to the UPMC Lung Transplant Program.

» Read Lauren's story.

Gary Cunningham

Gary Cunningham

In spring of 2010, Gary Cunningham was cutting the grass for the first time of the season when he began experiencing shortness of ​breath and became fatigued. Gary is the first patient at UPMC to receive a "breathing lung" transplant through the Transmedics ® Organ Care System TM (OCS) Lung Machine.

» Read Gary's story.

Bob Dolence

Bob Dolence

In 2003, Bob was using supplemental oxygen to support his lungs. Today, with a new set of lungs, he is breathing just fine on his own.

» Read Bob's​​ story.

Jason Gregg
Jason Gregg

In June 2008, Jason was told he had only two years to live.

» Read Jason's story.

Nancy Matthews

Nancy Matthews

On December 10, 2008, Nancy received her double lung transplant at UPMC Presbyterian. Just two years later, she hiked in the mountains at Yellowstone National Park.

» Read Nancy's story.

Jay Starr

At age 46, Jay, a cystic fibrosis patient,  underwent lung transplant surgery in Seattle in 2008.

In October of 2011, doctors in Seattle told Jay that he was in chronic rejection.

After an evaluation at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Jay was placed on the lung transplant waiting list.

In February of 2015, Jay underwent a second lung transplant and was cleared to return home in May.

» Read Jay's story.

John Sullivan

John Sullivan

On May 1, 1991, John had his first lung transplant at UPMC Presbyterian. He was 44 years old, and received a single right lung. 

» Read John's story.

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