ROME, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Policlinico Hospital in Milan, northern Italy, announced on Thursday that a successful double lung transplant has saved the life of a young man whose lungs were destroyed by COVID-19.
The patient -- who turned 18 just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out, and who has spent a total of 58 days hooked up to life support machines -- is now "awake and fully cooperative" and in rehabilitation, doctors said.
The patient was "young and perfectly healthy" until he got infected by the new coronavirus early in March, and the resulting COVID-19 illness "caused irreparable damage to his lungs, 'burning' all capacity to breathe normally," the hospital wrote.
As a last resort, doctors decided to try giving him two new lungs, and the surgery was carried out successfully, according to the hospital.
"We contacted Professor Chen Jingyu from Wuxi People's Hospital in China, whom we know personally and with whom we discussed some technical aspects, since ... he had faced the problem before us," said Professor Mario Nosotti, who directs the Policlinico's Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplant Department and also directs the School of Specialization in Thoracic Surgery at Milan University.
Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana congratulated "the entire team at Milan Policlinico and at the National Transplant Center" for "managing to accomplish what seems almost like a miracle."
The hospital said that a similar surgery has been carried out in Vienna in recent days. Enditem