Inman woman facing second double-lung transplant

GO UPSTATE | Allison M. Roberts
Shannon Zimmerman of Inman is in need of a double lung transplant for a second time after her lungs were compromised by pneumonia. She said she needs to wear masks and gloves now to reduce the chance of infection while she prepares for the second transplant.

Lung transplants aren’t that common in the United States, but 14 years after her first one, an Inman woman is in need of a second double-lung transplant.

“If someone had told me I could catch pneumonia from a cat, I would’ve said, ‘you’re stupid,’” Shannon Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman had her first double-lung transplant in 2002. She was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension in 1999, and the disease damaged her heart and lungs so badly a transplant was the only way she could have survived.

For 10 years, everything went great, Zimmerman said. Then, in the fall of 2012, her husband, Don, was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer. The stress caused her lungs to go into rejection.

By December, Zimmerman said she had come out of stress rejection. But not long after that, she and her son brought two feral kittens into their house. Because her immune system was compromised, Zimmerman caught a type of pneumonia from one of the kittens. Continue reading 
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