• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: New lungs give dad a chance to enjoy fatherhood

June 17, 2018

lung transplant patient Nicholas Hemmerle outdoors in the woodsOver time, cystic fibrosis robbed Nicholas Hemmerle of his ability to enjoy active time with his daughter. But after a double lung transplant, he's breathing easier and ready to have fun again. 

The last thing Nicholas Hemmerle remembers before going into surgery at Mayo Clinic for a double lung transplant is a nurse putting a blanket on him and starting to sing. The other staff in the operating room joined in the soothing song with her.

"There isn't a hospital in this entire world where people would come together and sing to you like that," Nicholas says.

But it wasn't just the singing that had Nicholas feeling good. Nicholas' transplant and the postoperative care he received from a multidisciplinary team of providers at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus allowed the 34-year-old Savannah, Georgia, resident to take his first deep breaths in nearly 10 years and get back to enjoying his role as a father.

That's the kind of result the Lung Transplant Program is aiming for with people like Nicholas, says David Erasmus, M.D., M.B., Ch.B., a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and lung transplant physician.

"Every time we see a patient like Mr. Hemmerle, it's like a miracle in front of our eyes — someone who could barely breathe and now has near-normal lung function," Dr. Erasmus says. "This is life-changing for our patients, and that's why we do this." Read the rest of the story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.