News Room Articles

Columbus Children's Hospital First Lung Transplant Patient, Emily DeArdo, Discharged

COLUMBUS, OH - 8/5/2005

The first lung transplant at Columbus Children’s Hospital occurred Monday, July 11, 2005 when Emily DeArdo, 23, of Pickerington, Ohio, received two lungs. On Friday, August 5, 2005 DeArdo walked out of Children’s, discharged 24 days after her surgery.

Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at 11 years of age, DeArdo has been cared for since then at the CF Foundation-accredited Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Center by Chief of Pulmonary Medicine Karen McCoy, MD. DeArdo graduated from Capital University in Columbus and is employed fulltime at the Statehouse.

DeArdo was placed on the list for a double lung transplant May 31, 2005, with the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). Finding a suitable match for DeArdo was especially challenging due to her rare AB-positive blood type and the need for small adult lungs. A match was located late the night of July 10 and DeArdo arrived at Columbus Children’s the morning of July 11 to prepare for transplant surgery. Columbus Children’s Cardiothoracic Surgeon Terry Davis, MD, began the transplant operation in preparation for the arrival of Children’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Chief Mark Galantowicz, MD, who had gone to procure the donor lungs from another state.

Children’s transplant pulmonologist, Todd Astor, MD, removed DeArdo from the ventilator Tuesday, July 12, and heard her first post-surgery comment: “This feels wonderful!” She remained in the intensive care unit until Monday, July 18, when she was moved to the Heart Center inpatient unit where she will remain in reverse isolation for her protection until her hospital discharge.

The Lung Transplant Program at Columbus Children’s is headed by Astor as medical director and Galantowicz as surgical director.  Astor has previous lung transplantation experience with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine Lung Transplant Program. Galantowicz previously served as director of Cardiopulmonary Transplantation at the Children’s Heart Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. 

Galantowicz and Astor are also members of the full-time faculty of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health.  

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