Woman who received double lung transplant because of COVID-19 released from hospital

Carmen Lerma Leaving Uw Hospital
Courtesy of UW Health

MADISON, Wis. — After a double lung transplant that saved her life, Carmen Lerma, was released from University Hospital last Thursday.

According to a release she was transferred to University Hospital in October where it was found that her lungs were so damaged from COVID-19, a double lung transplant was her only chance for survival.

The release said Lerma waited a few days on the transplant waiting list when a person who died was able to give her lungs. She was the first person in Wisconsin to undergo a double lung transplant because of COVID-19.

Lerma left the transplant unit Thursday, two weeks after her surgery and four months after her COVID-19 diagnosis. She was reunited with her husband, brother and mother.

“I hadn’t seen my family in so long, and to finally be able to stand here and walk over to them is priceless,” Lerma said. “I never thought that I’d be able to do this again, so I really want to thank all the UW Health doctors and nurses, all of whom were amazing. It was a rough journey that got me here, but a great ending.”