Nebraska Medicine’s first lung transplant patient was released from the hospital on Monday, three weeks after having surgery. 58 year old Phil Sauvageau suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that caused scarring of the lungs. He was placed on the transplant waiting list on January 21st and got the call three days later.
Sauvageau’s double lung transplant lasted six hours. His physician says the surgery went very smoothly with no significant complications. Sauvageau was up the next day taking a few steps and three weeks later is able to walk a mile on the treadmill without extra oxygen.
Sauvageau is very grateful and thanked the donor’s family for their generous gift. He says, “They are so special. They just gave me life and so now I look at them like they have this special kind of love. They just wanted to help somebody keep going which I think is so awesome.” Sauvageau also encourages more people to become organ donors so others receive lifesaving gifts. He also thanked his “dream team” medical staff for their skill and excellent care.
Sauvageau will continue to receive daily therapy for several weeks and will be monitored carefully as he continues to recover. His physicians say before surgery he was out of breath while sitting. Now he is looking forward to walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in April.