OKAYAMA — A 24-year-old woman who underwent the nation’s first lung transplant operation using live donors was discharged from Okayama University Hospital Monday after two months of postoperative treatment there.
The woman, a Nagano Prefecture native whose name is being withheld, told a press conference at the hospital that she feels she has been given a new lease on life.
“Now I can breath easier (than before), and I feel as if I were born again,” she told reporters.
The woman had suffered from bronchiectasis, a severe illness of the bronchial tubes that causes serious breathing difficulties.
A team of surgeons from the state-run university’s hospital conducted the transplant Oct. 28, using half of the left lung of the woman’s 48-year-old mother and one-third of the right lung of her 21-year-old sister.
Doctors said the woman’s breathing capacity has improved to about half that of an adult woman. She was unable to breathe on her own before the transplant, they said.
Expressing thanks to her family and hospital staff, the woman encouraged those who are suffering from the same malady to keep fighting the disease.
“You can recover if you will not give up,” she said.