lung transplant

Real Patients, Real Stories: Hear from Two-Time Lung Transplant Recipient

Joseph McCanne was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just three years of age. That diagnosis began a life-long journey that would ultimately lead to two lung transplant surgeries – with each transplant giving him a new opportunity to enjoy life at its fullest. Hear Joseph’s story as he describes his journey to transplant and how the Emory Lung Transplant Program has impacted his life.

As we reflect on this Thanksgiving holiday and all that we are thankful for, let’s remember those who have given the generous donation of life through organ transplantation.

“I know firsthand how lifesaving organ donation can be,” says Joseph. “It is a beautiful, wonderful gift and I am thankful.”

Emory Lung Transplant Program

Emory Transplant Center offers the only Lung Transplant Program in Georgia. Our program specializes in the treatment of complex lung disorders and offers the full continuum of high-level care involved in lung transplantation. Performing more than 500 lung transplants, we are at the forefront of clinical excellence, innovative transplant therapies, and outstanding pre- and post-transplant care. Our number one goal is to provide our patients with the unsurpassed, comprehensive care they deserve.

Georgia’s Only Lung Transplant Program: In 1993, Emory established the only lung transplant center in Georgia, with the primary mission of serving Georgia residents suffering from untreatable complex lung diseases. To date, Emory has performed over 500 lung transplant procedures.

Multidisciplinary Team of Specialists: Emory’s team of lung transplant providers is highly skilled in the care of lung transplant patients. Our team of specialists includes pulmonologists, transplant surgeons, cardiologists, transplant coordinators, and nurses, working together to provide superior care.

Commitment to Transplant Research: Our commitment to research, education and patient care is reflected in the success of our program. Emory’s highly regarded team of physicians is at the forefront of lung transplant research. They are currently investigating immune tolerance as well as end-stage pulmonary vascular disease and experimental methods for effective gene therapy.

To learn more about the Emory Lung Transplant Program, visit emoryhealthcare.org/lungtransplant or call 855-366-7989.

Double-Lung Transplant Gives Man New Outlook on Life

Double Lung Transplant Joseph McCanne and FamilyJoseph McCanne was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just three years old. That diagnosis began a long journey that would ultimately include two double-lung transplants at Emory Transplant Center – with each transplant giving him a new opportunity to enjoy life at its fullest.

Declining Health, Steps Toward Transplant

At first, Joseph was hesitant to consider a double-lung transplant, despite his declining health. His cystic fibrosis was creating several serious health issues, including constant bouts of pneumonia that were sending him regularly to the hospital and lung function that eventually dropped to 13 percent.

It wasn’t until 2009 when he began to envision a brighter, healthier future – and that was all thanks to one person in particular: Kayse, the woman who would become his wife.

“I wanted to stick around a little longer,” he admits.

After years of indecision, he called the Emory Transplant Center and told them he was ready. Joseph was placed high on the transplant list and waited only two weeks. On October 7, 2009, he arrived at Emory for a bilateral transplant.

After a 12-hour surgery, a three-week hospital stay, and one-month recovery at home, he was playing racquetball.

“It was life-changing,” he says. “Climbing Stone Mountain, playing racquetball and tennis, going for a job in the neighborhood – most people take those things for granted, but they were amazing for me. It was a beautiful, wonderful gift.”

A Third Chance at Life

Joseph enjoyed seven years of good health – until June 2016 when he began to feel short of breath during regular activities. He returned to Emory, where he was diagnosed with a fungal infection. The infection was causing the transplanted lungs to suddenly go into rejection.

On March 13, 2017, he underwent a second double-lung transplant, once again performed at Emory Transplant Center.

“Emory has always been there, and they’ve been great,” says Joseph. “The doctors and nurses feel like family. They’ve been very supportive and instrumental to my health since I was 11.”

Now, Joseph is back to the life he enjoys: One that includes hiking, running, working and playing with his children.

“I’m doing things I’ve never thought possible – because of Emory, because of the transplant, and because of the care they provide,” he finishes.

The Power of Organ Donation

Spring is a great time to recognize those who have saved lives through organ donation, with observances and local events, such as National Donate Life Month in April, which encourages Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors, and the 2019 Atlanta Kidney Walk in May.

“I know firsthand how lifesaving organ donation can be,” says Joseph. “Having new life after transplantation allows you to do things you could never do. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a brand new start.”

You can also register to become an organ donor by visiting Donate Life Georgia.

About Emory Transplant Center

Emory Transplant Center has performed nearly 500 lung transplant surgeries through the Emory Lung Transplant Program. Emory is a leader in clinical excellence and in pioneering new transplant therapies. We offer cutting-edge technology and superior outcomes in kidney transplant, liver transplant, lung transplant and pancreas transplant.

Our patients come from all over the nation for our high level of expertise and proven patient outcomes. We are proud to be ranked among the top 12 transplant programs in the nation and have performed more than 9,400 transplants to date.

To learn more about the Emory Transplant Center, visit emoryhealthcare.org/transplant or call 855-366-7989.