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Corewell Health’s Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program completes 300th transplant

Posted at 10:23 AM, Dec 16, 2022

Corewell Health’s Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program reached a significant milestone on December 5, with transplant teams completing the program’s 300th lung transplant. The program completed its first lung transplant in February 2013.

Dr. Edward Murphy, Corewell Health West Endowed Chair for the Richard DeVos Lung Transplant Program, shares more about this milestone.

The patient who received the 300th transplant, Dennis Bergstrom, 66, of Cheboygan, Michigan, is off supplemental oxygen and is expected to make a full recovery. Dennis has a longstanding history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and began developing more significant symptoms about four years ago.

Corewell Health’s Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program is one of three programs in Michigan offering heart and lung transplantation for adult patients facing serious end-stage heart and lung failure. There are currently 1,500 people on the lung transplant waitlist nationwide. Corewell Health West serves the needs of patients in West Michigan and beyond.

Corewell Health’s program combines excellent outcomes with high volume. The program has seen continual growth, now completing on average 40-50 lung transplants annually. It is the busiest lung transplant program in the state.

Because of its highly skilled team, the Corewell Health West program often accepts candidates that other centers might turn away. This includes older patients and those with other medical conditions that increase risks, such as coronary artery disease, previous chest surgery, or the need for advanced life support. According to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), Corewell Health West’s adult lung transplant one-year patient survival is the best in the nation.

Organ donation saves lives – plain and simple. One person can save and improve the lives of 75 other people through organ and tissue donation. More than 100,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant nationally, and a new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. It is very simple to become a donor. You can do it when renewing your driver’s license or just join online at the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

Medical Moment is sponsored by Corewell Health.