After six-month wait, life-saving double lung transplant gives Hong Kong woman a second chance

Doctors wait to see if woman’s body accepts or rejects the new organ

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 February, 2017, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 February, 2017, 11:09pm

A 53-year-old woman with a rare lung condition received potentially life-saving surgery this week after waiting six months for an organ donation.

Phyllis Kum Siu-wan remained in a critical condition on Saturday after undergoing the 11-hour double lung transplant on Friday night at Queen Mary Hospital.

Her husband, surnamed Lo, expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the donor and their family, and the doctors who conducted the operation.

Education can result in more young people in Hong Kong joining organ donor register

Kum’s doctor said the coming two to four days were crucial, as they would determine whether the patient’s body has rejected or accepted the new organ. About 10 per cent of patients who receive a double lung transplant reject the organ.

Kum was one of a number of recipients who received organs from a deceased donor at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern hospital. The donor’s liver, kidneys and corneas were also donated to other recipients.

In 2004, Kum was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, a condition where abnormally high blood pressure in the lungs makes it hard for the heart to pump blood into them.

Kum’s lungs and the left side of her heart were failing, and her liver function had also been damaged.

Without a double lung transplant, doctors said she would have been more susceptible to bacterial infection, which could put her life on the line.

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Secretary of Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man said it was encouraging news for those patients who remained waiting for an organ donation.

“For those who are waiting for an organ donation, it is a really good news,” Ko said.

“To the public, this is a good chance to raise public awareness on organ donation. We hope more people will support it and sign up to become a potential donor.”