March 14, 2013

Oldest Kentucky Lung Transplant Recipient Doing Well

photo credit : Dylan Lovan
Last year, Bill Ray, 73, became the oldest person in Kentucky to receive a lung transplant. Ray, from Illinois, said when returning to Jewish Hospital in Louisville that he was close to being back to normal.

He said much of the energy he lost because of his damaged lung has now returned. He received a new right lung at the hospital about 5 months ago. He is now 74-years-old.

Jewish Hospital in Louisville imposes no age restrictions on potential recipients of lungs, and according to a spokeswoman for University of Kentucky Hospital, Kristi Lopez, neither does the Lexington-based hospital, adding they make a determination based upon each individual case.

"There used to be of a more stringent age limit, but more recently people began to understand ... that age is just a number, it's really how fit you really are in other capacities," said Dr. David Nunley, a surgeon on the team that operated on Ray at Jewish Hospital.

Ray had pulmonary fibrosis, which resulted in the need for a new lung. The other reasons for a new lung are emphysema and cystic fibrosis.

A total of 21 lung transplants were performed at Jewish Hospital in 2012.

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