WUHAN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- A COVID-19 patient who received double-lung transplant surgery was cured and discharged from a hospital on Tuesday in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.
After months of treatment, the man with the surname of Cui, 65, was discharged from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University.
"Your hard work is very much appreciated," Cui told the medics. He also wrote on a piece of paper, saying: "I'm discharged from hospital. Thank you, everyone."
Among the 10 COVID-19 patients who received lung transplant surgeries around the world, Cui was the first one discharged from hospital, according to Ma Xudong, an official with the National Health Commission.
Ma said six patients underwent such surgeries in China, as well as one in Italy, the United States, Austria and the Republic of Korea each.
He said the commission organized an expert lung transplant team consisting of top specialists from across the country for the treatments from mid-April. Online discussions were held several times after two expert teams from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces left.
"People from different units spared no efforts to save the patient, which has demonstrated the principle that 'life comes first,'" Ma said.
Cui, a retired worker, caught a fever on Jan. 23 and was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Feb. 7. He was transferred to the hospital on March 18 after receiving support from an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.
The patient's nucleic acid test result turned negative following treatment but he suffered from irreversible pulmonary interstitial fibrosis and lung failure, with lung transplant surgery the only option, said Lin Huiqing, a senior thoracic surgeon with the hospital who led his treatment.
Experts from the national lung transplant expert team and the hospital performed an operation that lasted more than six hours on April 20.
After being treated for an acute rejection reaction, serious infection, multi-drug resistance, and bowel and kidney function failure following the surgery, Cui was able to stand on his own in mid-June and move in a wheelchair in July.
Further rehabilitation is still needed because of weak muscles in Cui's legs, said Lin.
Cui is the last COVID-19 patient who was cured and discharged from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University.
As of Monday, Hubei, the province previously hardest hit by the epidemic in China, had reported a total of 68,135 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 63,623 cases having been cured and discharged from hospitals. The disease has claimed 4,512 lives in the province, according to the provincial health commission. Enditem