Medical staff helps heart-lung transplant patients celebrate during holidays


The staff of the UCLA program that serves heart and lung transplant patients help them celebrate their newfound health with an annual holiday party, one of adults and another for children.

Heart and lung transplant patients at UCLA have a lot to celebrate during the holiday season. After all, there’s no better gift than the gift of life from an organ donor. So staff at the UCLA heart and lung transplant programs at Reagan UCLA Medical Center help them celebrate life by hosting two spectacular annual holiday parties — one for adults and another for children.

Patients young and old come together full of cheer, thankfulness and an overwhelming sense of pride in their newfound health, said party organizers. Patients, staff and donor families even join in to provide do-it-yourself entertainment with special performances.

“It’s amazing to see a patient who could barely breathe last year get up on stage and play the flute for 20 minutes,” said Stephanie Fraschilla, a nurse manager in the adult transplant program. One patient, a famous jazz musician, makes the trip every year from Hawaii to share his musical talents.

The party for pediatric heart transplant patients is similarly inspiring. Continue reading