Gretchen Warner of Elkhorn, KY

My name is Gretchen Warner and I received a double lung transplant this past November 28, 2011. I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, scleroderma, in 2004. It effected my lungs more than any other part of my body. Over the years my lungs progressively got worse. I began to see a doctor in Baltimore, MD in 2007. The doctor mentioned that a center in another state was now doing lung transplants for scleroderma patients that also had esophagiel disfunction. So, in October 2011 I traveled to be evaluated for a lung transplant. After a week of evaluations and three weeks of waiting to be approved, I moved to another state to wait for a set of lungs. I arrived on Wednesday, November 15 and on the morning of Friday, November 18, 2011 my lungs colapsed. I knew something did not seem right to I immediatly called 911. The ambulance arrived and took me to the emergency room. From then I did not regain concienceness for three weeks. I was informed by my surgeons and family that I was kept alive by an ecmo machine for ten days and had received a lungs that were too large for my body. So, the had to trim them to fit. I have two lobes on one side and just one lobe on the other. I was the first patient to walk out of the hospital with this type of procedure.
I spent a total of six weeks in the hospital after being told that I would be there at least three monthes. One doctor referred to me as a miracle girl. I am now home in Kentucky and am very active. Where I was once unable to even dress myself without getting out of breath I now jog and do zumba twice a week. My last visit to Pittsburgh for a check up also included an interview with the local news channel. You can watch it on youtube when typing in Gretchen Warner lung transplant. Life is so much better and easier. Thanks to the Lord above, my great family and the medical staff.

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