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

August 5, 2005

The first lung transplant at Columbus Childrens 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 Childrens, 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 Childrens 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 Childrens the morning of July 11 to prepare for transplant surgery. Columbus Childrens Cardiothoracic Surgeon Terry Davis, MD, began the transplant operation in preparation for the arrival of Childrens Cardiothoracic Surgery Chief Mark Galantowicz, MD, who had gone to procure the donor lungs from another state.

Childrens 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 Childrens 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 Childrens 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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About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.