Healthy Living

Life Without Lungs: How One Woman Overcame the Odds

Then came a grueling 9-hour operation

But, if any place were to perform a radical lung operation, it made sense for it to be Toronto General, as it was the first location in the world to successfully perform a single lung transplant and a double lung transplant (both were performed in 1983). Additionally, the surgical team had been researching for years the best way to perform this radical operation, long before Melissa was at their door.

The family conferred and agreed: removing Melissa’s lungs was her best chance at survival. Dr. Keshavjee and his 12-membered surgical team removed both lungs, taking 9 long, grueling, tense hours, while the family paced nervously in the waiting room, anxious to hear any updates.