User Login    
 + Register
TV Banner
News : Two Sisters Receive Lung Transplant From Same Donor
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/22 4:33:36 (264 reads) News by the same author

HOUSTON (AP) -- They quibble, joke and share knowing looks, finishing each other's thoughts and making snide comments - like many sisters. But a recent heated argument was unlike any other they've had, and it ended in a most surprising way.

Click to see original Image in a new window

For months, 71-year-old Irma Myers-Santana and her younger sister, Anna Williamson, 69, had been debating who more urgently needed a lung transplant, each wanting the other to go first. Earlier this month, though, the sisters ended up in the same operating room, each getting one lung from the same donor in what doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital say is a first for their facility.

"It's never happened. ... We've transplanted siblings before, but years apart," said Dr. Scott Scheinin, who did Myers-Santana's transplant. "It's a little bit of serendipity."

The sisters both became ill about 10 years ago with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a little-understood scarring of the lungs that often requires a transplant and kills more people than breast cancer every year, said Scheinin.

Doctors, assisted by a computer program, look at blood type, height and severity of illness to match a donor and a transplant patient. The likelihood that Myers-Santana and Williamson would meet all three criteria at the same time was small, Scheinin said.

The sisters' situation was further complicated because they insisted on a "bloodless transplant." They are Jehovah's Witnesses and do not believe in receiving blood transfusions. They live in California, but Houston Memorial is the only hospital in the country that does such transplants.

"The irony of this whole thing is that we're sisters, we're both Jehovah's Witnesses, we have the same blood type and we got (the lungs) from the same donor," Williamson said, her eyes tearing up as she sat next to her sister, able for the first time in years to complete a sentence without coughing.

"It's a miracle to have all those things lined up like that," Williamson said.

Until the transplant, Williamson coughed all day and had to be attached to an oxygen tank constantly. About a year ago, her doctor told her she needed a transplant.

"I couldn't talk; I couldn't laugh," Williamson recalled.

So, Williamson and her husband headed down to Houston 10 months ago. Within six months, Myers-Santana, who had a sudden, violent decline in her health and could barely breathe, joined Williamson, hoping she, too, would be a viable candidate for that type of transplant.

Then the waiting began, with the sisters housed just 10 doors apart in a Houston RV park. On a few occasions, each woman was offered a lung, but they bickered over who should take it.

"If we hadn't had the transplant when we did, she would be dead right now, dead," Williamson said adamantly, her sister sitting beside her in the hospital room.

Myers-Santana agrees with that, yet believed Williamson needed to have the first transplant.

"Her coughing just hurt to my core. You can't help someone that coughs like that," Myers-Santana said. "It's so hard to watch, and so I felt she needed it more than I did.

"I can live with a cough, but she can't live without oxygen, so I win," Myers-Santana shot back, smiling at her sister.

In the end, though, the individual lungs weren't a match.

Now, less than two weeks after the surgery, Williamson has the right lung and Myers-Santana has the left. They have on makeup, their hair is done, and they joke with their doctors - extending an invitation to Santa Barbara for free manicures and pedicures at Williamson's salon. Their husbands and children linger in the background. Colorful balloons wishing them well float above.

They can talk, joke and laugh without an oxygen tank.

And they can breathe easy.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/8/28 15:01:25 - KC Royals Turning Back Clock To 1974
2014/8/28 14:50:00 - Milan Coaches Shows For Thursday, 8/28/14
2014/8/28 12:50:00 - Chillicothe Hornets Have Dominant Tennis, Golf Performances
2014/8/28 12:32:42 - KC Royals Urge Fans To "Wear Blue" For Rare Sunday Night Game
2014/8/28 12:27:24 - KC Royals Place Top Prospect Starling In Arizona Fall League
2014/8/28 12:21:45 - Brookfield Wins Extra-Inning Showdown With Penney, 3-2
2014/8/28 10:00:00 - Circuit Court At Trenton Busy With Cases
2014/8/28 9:54:14 - Firm Interested In Building Solar Farm North Of Trenton
2014/8/28 9:50:00 - Cameron Woman Injured In I-35 Accident
2014/8/28 9:50:00 - North Harrison Spoils Princeton's Home Opener, 3-1
2014/8/28 9:47:23 - Lawyer Criticizes Missouri Child Abuse Proposal
2014/8/28 9:41:40 - KC Chiefs Add To Line Depth, Signing Veteran McGlynn
2014/8/28 9:40:00 - Parents Complain About Alleged Punishment At Columbia Elementary School
2014/8/28 9:28:34 - More Than 200 Missouri Bills Become Law Today
2014/8/28 9:24:57 - Missouri Dairy Farmers Urge Veto Override
2014/8/28 9:20:25 - Carrollton Woman Indicted In $185K Bank Fraud Scheme
2014/8/28 5:45:34 - More Than A Dozen Arrests In Macon, Randolph County Drug Round-Up
2014/8/28 4:40:00 - Missouri Woman Arrested After Posting Photos On Facebook Posing With Corpse
2014/8/28 4:30:00 - Mom Upset About 911 Dispatchers Response To Call Of Baby Locked In Car
2014/8/28 4:20:30 - Toddler Abducted From Excelsior Springs Home Found In Westport
2014/8/28 4:16:41 - Omaha Police Bullet Kills "Cops" Film Crew Member
2014/8/28 4:09:28 - Committee Formed To Investigate Need For Body Cameras At Trenton Police Department
2014/8/27 16:30:00 - NCMC Men Announce 2014-2015 Basketball Schedule
2014/8/27 13:10:00 - Princeton Tiger Coaches Shows For Wednesday, 8/27/14
2014/8/27 10:58:21 - Brookfield Defeats Trenton In Tuesday Golf Duel
2014/8/27 10:34:56 - Board Of Public Works Reports On Drinking Water And Electric Department
2014/8/27 10:31:10 - Heartland Health and Mosaic Life Announce Partnership
2014/8/27 10:26:00 - City Of Chillicothe Receives Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Award
2014/8/27 10:19:03 - Gun And Toy Show To Be Held In Marceline
2014/8/27 5:50:00 - UPDATE: Authorities Searching Daviess County For Alleged Car Thief



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM