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Lung transplant patient explains post-op journey: ‘It’s not easy, but it’s worth it’

IU Health Methodist Hospital

Lung transplant patient explains post-op journey: ‘It’s not easy, but it’s worth it’

Tammy Burton: Part 3

About six weeks ago, Tammy Burton received a double lung transplant at Methodist Hospital. After doctors discharged her from the hospital, Tammy entered an intensive rehabilitation program required of all lung transplant patients. “It’s warmups, it’s physical therapy, it’s riding the bike…. and the therapists push you physically, but in an encouraging way,” said Tammy. “I graduated [from the program] on March tenth and I can’t believe how good I feel.”

Tammy Burton: Part 2

For the past few months we’ve been following Tammy Burton’s journey to get a much-needed double lung transplant. A few weeks ago, her surgeon, Dr. Chadrick Denlinger invited cameras into the operating room to get an unveiled look at what that surgery entails. “In the OR you can see there are ten people there, at least. These operations could never happen without the anesthesiologists, the anesthesia resident, surgical residents, the surgeons, the nurse circulators, the scrub nurse, perfusionists, and so on. There’s a huge team that’s there, working to get these patients through these high-risk operations.”

Tammy Burton: Part 1

Doctors diagnosed Tammy Burton with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2021. Since then her disease has progressed to where she needs a lung transplant. "Once I got to know the [transplant team] I knew right then that IU Health was the place to be," said Tammy who went through the extensive pre transplant process and is now on the transplant list.

"The pre transplant process is a major commitment on the patient and their family," said Dr. Chadrick Denlinger, IU Health's lung transplant program director. "There's a lot that goes into getting through the evaluation. There are lots of appointments, there are lots of tests... but once they actually get to that big day when they get listed it's a huge deal."

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