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Michigan’s first COVID-linked double lung transplant

A 31-year-old Wyandotte woman is the first person in Michigan’s to receive a double-lung transplant due to extensive damage caused to her lungs by the coronavirus. The woman had the procedure just seven weeks after the baby was delivered.

Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan’s performed the procedure on Jackie Dennis on Jan. 16, just seven The patient Dennis was 35 weeks pregnant when she noticed she found COVID-19 related symptoms and was admitted to the Wyandotte hospital on Nov. 20.

Dennis developed severe hypertension and signs of preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication defined by high blood pressure and can affect breathing and cause swelling was noticed after five days. Later she was induced and gave birth to her daughter on Nov. 27 and named her Mia Rose.

After delivering the baby the case worsened. She faced difficulties in breathing and she showed signs of coronavirus-related pneumonia. After two convalescent plasma infusions and the use of a ventilator to keep her blood-oxygen levels normal that failed to help her fully recover, Dennis was transferred to the Detroit hospital on Dec. 8 for treatment.

Dr. Lisa Allenspach, medical director of Henry Ford Health System’s Lung Transplant Program said that her pregnancy caused her to have a heightened risk of developing this inflammatory syndrome that led to lung failure. It is necessary to have a lung transplant and without the transplant, she will not be alive. This was the first double lung transplant in Michigan’s that was linked to COVID-19.

Some who contract the novel coronavirus are able to experience similar symptoms and recover, but a fraction of those particularly those in higher-risk situations like compromised immune systems will have an intense inflammatory response to the virus. In this patient pregnancy was a factor. Doctors continued to monitor the patient and hoped to see her lungs recover but Dennis’s condition worsened and it was obvious that no recovery was possible.

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