Kentucky double lung transplant recipient cheered on by hospital staff after 6-month stay

Posted at 12:39 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 13:31:27-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Staff at UK HealthCare gathered Wednesday to celebrate the discharge of patient Victor Gonzales-Villatoro, who had been hospitalized since October 2021.

He was admitted with COVID-19 and the disease ravaged his lungs.

Villatoro was considered a candidate for a double lung transplant and doctors placed him on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to see if his body could recover enough to withstand the transplant surgery.

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Sravanthi Nandavaram, M.D., the Medical Director of the lung transplant program who recommended Victor for a double lung transplant, gives Victor a goodbye hug.

For several months, while on ECMO, Victor remained unconscious. Once he awoke, he worked hard to gain the strength to receive a transplant.

Villatoro received a new set of lungs March 1, after five months on ECMO. Within a week, he was off the ventilator and walking.

On March 23, after six months in the hospital, Villatoro was discharged.

He will spend the next few weeks at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, working to regain his strength and endurance.