1st lung transplant photo - courtesy Spectrum Health
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- A Wyoming man is the first recipient of a new lung at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.
The hospital announced Friday morning that they performed the single-lung transplant on February 4th.
Joseph Steponski, 59, received a right lung. The surgery was performed by Dr. Asghar Khaghani, MD and assisted by Dr. Robert Hooker, MD.
The doctors say Steponski's prognosis for a strong recovery is good.
Steponski thanked the unnamed donor who made the transplant possible. "I'm breathing again and that's a miracle I haven't breathed this easy in ten years or more" he told a news conference Friday.
This is the first lung transplant to be performed at Spectrum Health. The hospital started its lung transplant program in late 2012.
Steponski needed the lung transplant surgery because he suffered from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a disease of unknown cause that leads to progressive scarring of the lungs.