Creswell woman’s lung transplant surgery performed at University of Washington Medical Center

The Register-Guard | Austin Meek

Nearly 2,000 lung transplants were performed nationwide in 2014, but none was in Oregon.

Oregon hospitals, including Oregon Health & Science University, don’t perform the procedure, meaning the closest option is the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, where Creswell resident Linda Merritt underwent her transplant surgery in 2013.

In Oregon we can do heart, we can do liver, kidneys and pancreas, but no lungs,” said Leslie Brock, executive director of Donate Life Northwest, a nonprofit group based in Portland.

Brock’s organization works to educate Oregonians about organ donation and encourage participation in the state’s donor registry.

In the Pacific Northwest, the UW medical center is the only hospital that performs lung transplants. It has 72 people on its lung-transplant waiting list, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Nationwide, the number is 1,516. Continue reading