College of California San Francisco celebrates 1,000 lung transplants

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – A 60-year-old man is being called number 1,000.

Insurance agent Patrick Alexander is recovering from being the 1,000 lung transplant at the University of California San Francisco since the program began in 1991.

“We don’t know much about the donor family or the donor his or herself, but we’re just so grateful,” Alexander said.

Alexander had scarring of the lung that impeded the ability for oxygen to enter the bloodstream.

USCF’s transplant expertise is world class. Pulmonologist Steve Hays said the one year survival rate is top in the county and has been that way for a decade.

“Our long-term survival is also continuing to really improve every year so that patients who are now getting a transplant have an expectation they could live nearly 12 years,” Hays said.

In about a year, Alexander is expected to be able to resume an active life of travel, exercise and other activities. Post-transplant complications are now rare.

Transplant surgeon Jasleen Kukreja said the program went from about 20% airway complications requiring some sort of intervention down to less than 1%.

“Which is really quite remarkable because no other program has been able to achieve that outcome,” Kukreja said.

Alexander can now expect to extend his life from 10 to 12 years.

“A year ago we didn’t even know that Patrick had the disease,” Alexander’s wife Allison said. “This is how quickly it progressed, and we’re just so grateful for the staff at UCSF. They have been so thorough.”

Copyright 2022 KGO via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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