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Double-lung recipient, wife hope their story will help others

Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 · Volume: XXXIX · Issue: 16

Lloyd and Ruth Wilkins pose with Dr. John Calhoon. Dr. Calhoon led the team that performed the transplant.
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Lloyd and Ruth Wilkins pose with Dr. John Calhoon. Dr. Calhoon led the team that performed the transplant.clear graphic

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Lloyd and Ruth Wilkins of Redwood City, Calif., wrote firsthand accounts of their quest to get Lloyd a lung transplant, a hunt that ended when they learned about The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio/University Hospital lung transplant program. Lloyd, a high-risk case because of his lung disease, underwent a double-lung transplant June 6, 2005, at University Hospital, one of the Health Science Center's primary teaching hospitals. He is doing very well.

Lloyd's article addresses many of the practical considerations patients need to know; Ruth's article is geared to what caregivers need to know. Luis Angel, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, is the pioneering pulmonologist who accepted Lloyd Wilkins' challenging case. John Calhoon, M.D., professor of surgery and Calhoon President's Council Chair for Excellence in Surgery at the Health Science Center, led the team that performed the transplant. Because of highly-innovative procedures to preserve donor lungs and to stabilize patients awaiting transplant, the UTHSCSA/UHS lung transplant program has among the shortest waiting times among U.S. medical centers for patients needing single or double lungs.

To read more about the Wilkins’ journey, visit: www.surgery.uthscsa.edu/thoracic/realdeal-patient.pdf to read Lloyd’s story, and www.surgery.uthscsa.edu/thoracic/realdeal-support.pdf to view Ruth’s story.

The Wilkins recently visited San Antonio for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Angel. During their stay, they met Joe and Eileen Stendig and their son, Lenny, for the first time in person. Joe Stendig, also a patient of Drs. Calhoon and Angel, is the oldest person (73) to have received a lung transplant. Mr. Stendig even began a non-profit association to help others. It was through the Stendigs’ Web site that Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins learned about the UTHSCSA/UHS lung transplant program. The couples had encouraged each other previously on the phone.

Contact: Will Sansom
Phone: (210) 567-2579
E-mail: sansom@uthscsa.edu

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