Early UNC transplant patient celebrates 20 years with good lungs

Early UNC transplant patient celebrates 20 years with good lungs click to enlarge Howell Graham

Twenty years ago, Howell Graham became the first cystic fibrosis patient to undergo a double-lung transplant surgery at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Lung transplantation was then a very new procedure, but the operation, done by UNC cardiothoracic surgeon Thomas M. Egan, MD, was a success. Now, Graham is believed to be the longest-surviving double-lung transplant patient in the world. In an article about Graham that appeared in the Star-News of Wilmington, UNC thoracic surgeon Benjamin Haithcock comments on how lung transplantation has changed in 20 years. Graham hopes to raise awareness for organ donation and new lung transplant techniques developed by Egan.  Read the article here.