Tevis Moffett has suffered from a chronic lung infection all of his life, a debilitating condition called bronchiectasis that kept him tethered to an oxygen tank and threatened his life.
"It got so that I couldn't do anything at all," he says. "I was on oxygen 24/7. You know those little plastic sticks that have little holes in it that you stir your coffee? Try breathing through that sometime, and that's what it was like."
But after undergoing a double lung transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Tevis is now beginning a new life.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Abbas Ardehali, M.D., performed the delicate lung transplant. "In contrast to the other organs, such as kidney and liver where the time is more forgiving, for heart and lung transplantation, every minute that the organ is outside of the body is important," Dr. Ardehali explains.
The first 10 minutes following implantation are the most critical for the new lungs to function. "Throughout our experience and many years of research at UCLA, we have devised an approach that we believe improves the function of the lungs in the long term," Dr. Ardehali says.
"Just to have it done is a miracle," Tevis says. "It's like if you were to take a light switch and turn it off or turn it on, that's the difference of how I feel."
Tags: bronchiectasis, chronic lung infection, double lung transplant, Dr. Abbas Ardehali, heart and lung transplantation, kidney, liver, lung infection, lung transplant, oxygen tank, patient stories, Transplant, transplant