Gifts of new lungs, great friends: Transplant patient of Dr. Haithcock's talks about her experience.

Kena Sawyers, 46, of Eden, N.C., received a double-lung transplant at UNC Hospitals on Sept. 20, after living 15 years with lungs scarred by pneumonia secondary to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that she contracted when pregnant with her daughter, Kayla. Dr. Benjamin Haithcock of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery was her transplant surgeon.

Gifts of new lungs, great friends: Transplant patient of Dr. Haithcock's talks about her experience. click to enlarge Kena Sawyers

Since her release from the hospital after her transplant, Sawyers has been living at the SECU Family House in Chapel Hill, a 40-bedroom hospital hospitality house that provides comfortable, convenient and affordable housing for adult patients undergoing treatment for critical illness and trauma and family members of those patients.

Sawyers' new lungs are working well. She is staying in Chapel Hill to undergo physical therapy, additional testing and routine monitoring. To read a story about Sawyers, her transplant and her experience at SECU Family House, click here.