Michigan man whose transplant operation was stopped receives second set of lungs

A patient whose double lung transplant operation was stopped after a plane carrying donor organs crashed has received a second set of lungs.

The 50-year-old Michigan man, whose name was not being released at his family's request, was in critical condition at a University of Michigan Health System hospital after the more than seven-hour surgery ended early Thursday, the Health System said.

"We are relieved that we were able to do this transplant and give this man another chance for life," Dr. Jeffrey Punch, director of the Division of Transplantation at University of Michigan, said in a statement. "Our friends that died in the crash would have wanted us to go on with our work."

The patient already was prepped for surgery when the plane crashed Monday, killing six members of a Survival Flight team.

Officials learned late Tuesday that another set of donor organs was available. The team of surgeons, nurses, transplant coordinators and specialists for the second operation was led by Dr. Andrew C. Chang, surgical director of lung transplant and assistant professor of general thoracic surgery, and Dr. Christine Lau, assistant professor of general thoracic surgery.

"He is significantly improved," Chang said of the patient.

The organs were transported by chartered plane from the donor hospital to Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti, where a transplant donation specialist met the plane and transported the organs to the hospital on a Survival Flight helicopter.

Killed in Monday's crash near Milwaukee were cardiac surgeon Dr. Martinus "Martin" Spoor; transplant donation specialist Richard Chenault II; Dr. David Ashburn, a 35-year-old physician-in-training in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery; transplant donation specialist, Richard LaPensee; and pilots Dennis Hoyes and Bill Serra.

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