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Pulmonary Patient Stories


Kenny Beyer

Clearing the Airways
In 2011, Kenny Beyer, 34, came to the University of Chicago Medicine seeking help for severe asthma. Pulmonologist and asthma expert Kyle Hogarth, MD, performed an innovative procedure called bronchial thermoplasty to open the airways of Beyer’s lungs. Beyer calls the difference in his quality of life "miraculous." Bronchial thermoplasty is the first and only non-drug therapy to treat severe or persistent asthma.

Cystic Fibrosis

Josie Nordman

Living Life to the Fullest
Josie Nordman was born with cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and eventually leads to respiratory failure. In July 2012, Nordman's lung capacity was down to 15 percent. Thanks to a bilateral lung transplant the following summer, Nordman is now an active college student.

Interstitial Lung Disease

Wanda Samuel holds a photo of organ donor Sarina Tatum

Transplant Patient Finds Friendship with Donor Family
Wanda Samuel was facing a grim prognosis. A debilitating case of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) made it nearly impossible for her to breathe on her own. After receiving a lifesaving organ donation from a young girl, Samuel reached out to thank the donor's family for giving her a second chance at life.

Lisa Wright, pictured pre-transplant with her grandson.

Poster Child for a Successful Lung Transplant
After Lisa Wright was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis three and a half years ago, she feared she had just six months to live. Her brother had died of the same condition, and she assumed the worst. However, instead of giving up, she changed her lifestyle and turned to the University of Chicago, where a multidisciplinary transplant team helped her every step of the way.