Wisconsin woman gets double lung transplant due to COVID-19

A Wisconsin woman recently became the first person in the state to undergo a double lung transplant due to COVID-19.

Carmen Lerma’s lungs were so battered by the coronavirus that doctors at UW Health in Madison believed the transplant was likely her only shot at survival, the hospital said.

The 52-year-old Milwaukee woman was first rushed to the hospital in July, when she collapsed in her home with her oxygen levels at 30 percent, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

She was transferred to UW Health in October amid her grueling battle with the virus.

Doctors there put her on the transplant list, and after just a few days, learned that a donor who had just lost their life could give Lerma a new chance at hers.

On Nov. 12, two weeks after her transplant surgery and four months after her COVID-19 diagnosis, Lerma was finally able to leave the hospital.

Heartwarming video shared by the hospital showed Lerma being wheeled through the halls as medical staff applauded her recovery.

“I hadn’t seen my family in so long, and to finally be able to stand here and walk over to them is priceless,” said Lerma.

“I never thought that I’d be able to do this again.”

Lerma thanked all the doctors and nurses who cared for her, saying, “It was a rough journey that got me here, but a great ending.”


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