UW's first double lung transplant still breathing easy 20 years later

KOMO | Rise Egge

SEATTLE -- On July 8, 1993, Ken Price took his first deep breath in years. Having lived with cystic fibrosis since he was just 1 year old, Price was the first cystic fibrosis patient at the University of Washington Medical Center to receive a double lung transplant. In the 20 years since then, Price and his lungs have won tennis tournaments, rode his bike from Seattle to Portland eight times and run a marathon.

"Without the amazing gift of my donor family, the nurses, doctors, clinicians, pharmacists, I would have been dead 20 years ago," Price said.

Lungs are one of the most difficult organs to transplant. Only about one in five from deceased donors is viable for transplantation. About 55 percent of patients survive five years post-transplant and a third live 10 years.

"To be one of the earliest lung transplant patients, and to survive 20 years with these same lungs, is quite remarkable," says Kevin O'Connor, CEO of LifeCenter Northwest. "Ken's active lifestyle, positive outlook, and amazing survival story are an inspiration to us all." Continue reading
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