Chicago woman who became a nation last monthshe said on Thursday that she woke up a few days later, did not know about the operation and could not “recognize my body”.
Mayra Ramirez said that before she fell ill, she was an independent and active person who moved from North Carolina to Chicago in 2014 to work as an assistant. She said she had an autoimmune disease, but otherwise she was healthy. Shortly before he fell ill, she went to the hospital for three miles.
“I was told to hurry to change,” she said. “They asked me who would make medical decisions for me. That’s when I told them it would be my mother and eldest sister, who all live in North Carolina. before I was intubated. “
Ramirez, 28, spoke to the media alongside Brian Kuhns, 62, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, who followed her as the second coronavirus patient in the United States to undergo a double transplant.
Ramirez underwent a lung transplant on June 5 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She didn’t wake up until mid-June.
“I looked at myself and I couldn’t recognize my body,” she said. “I did not have the cognitive ability to process what was happening. All I knew was that I wanted water. “
Ankit Bharat, head of thoracic surgery and surgical director of a lung transplant program in Northwestern Medicine, said Ramirez, who was on a ventilator, had been fighting for his life for six weeks, with the virus completely destroying her lungs. Doctors would call with the news of Nohemi Romero, her mother in North Carolina.
Ramirez, who was sitting next to her mother during a press conference at the hospital, said her family had traveled to Chicago with the intention of saying goodbye.
“Fortunately, when my mother and my two nurses arrived, the medical team was able to stabilize me,” Ramirez said. “The possibilities of lung transplantation have been explained and my mother agreed. And then I got a 10-hour lung transplant within 48 hours. “
Bharat calls Ramirez’s operation a “milestone” in the care of patients with severe COVID-19.
“Lung transplantation is not for every patient with COVID-19, but offers some critically ill patients another chance to survive,” Bharat said. “Mayra and Brian live about it.”
Chest operator Dr. Rafael Garza Castillon said Northwestern is now considering surgery on other patients who have removed the virus and have no other significant organ failure.
“We are all learning together and sharing best practice, and now lung transplantation is part of COVID-19 care,” Bharat said.
Ramirez, who is now home, said she feels much better, even though she is still working to restore strength and endurance. She said she knew there was a family that grieved her loved ones.
“It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I had the ability, you know, to think there’s a family that bothers their loved one,” Ramirez said. “I have this person’s lungs and how lucky I was when I got her.”
Kuhns said he thought the virus was a scam until it banned it.
“This disease is not a joke,” he said. “It hit me like a major blow to the head. I was completely healthy. This thing knocked me hard. “