Jo Ellen Kimball: Emory Healthcare's 300th Lung Transplant Recipient

Jo Ellen Kimball: Emory Healthcare's 300th Lung Transplant Recipient


Jo Ann Kimball became somewhat of a Emory University Hospital celebrity when she became Emory Healthcare's 300th lung transplant patient since the program's creation more than 17 years ago in 1993. Here Kimball tells her story and thanks the transplant team and the family of the organ donor. Background At the age of 34, Kimball was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia (BOOP), a rare inflammatory lung condition of the small airways (bronchioles) and nearby lung tissue. Over time, the disease destroys the bronchioles and chokes off the airway. After a few years, when her condition weakened because of diminished lung capacity, she quit her job as a schoolteacher to save energy and avoid the potential for infection. Despair would lead to hope when Kimball was referred to the Emory Transplant Center, where she was listed on the lung transplant waiting list in January 2010, and would remain for the next eight months. And in late September 2010 her dreams came true and she received a call saying a pair of lungs had been located for her. More of the story: Emory Lung Transplant Program Web Site Emory's lung transplant program has come far to reach this 300th milestone. It ranked 11th out of 65 transplant centers for volume according to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and performed 35 lung transplants - its most ever and a 300 percent increase over the number it transplanted 10 years ago. In fact, Emory performed nearly 20 lung transplants in just the first six months of this year.

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