Only 10 days after undergoing a successful double lung transplant, State Senator Sharon Runner is being released today by her doctors at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
“The medical team led by Dr. Abbas Ardehali and Dr. David Ross at UCLA has been amazing,” said Runner. “There are not enough words to express my gratitude to this group of surgeons, doctors, nurses and health care professionals for their care and professionalism. These dedicated individuals give their patients the best medical care each and every day.”
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“As much as I am grateful for the care I’ve received, I am glad to be leaving,” Runner added.
Dr. David Ross, Medical Director of the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program, praised Runners’ recovery.
“We are thrilled with Sharon’s rapid progress. Her new lungs will enable her to resume normal activities and responsibilities soon.”
A limited scleroderma patient, Runner caught several lung infections in December which led to her reenlistment on the organ transplant list. There are an estimated 300,000 people living with scleroderma; and nearly 80 percent are women.
Placement on the transplant list is determined by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) organization’s national centralized computer.
Over the next few weeks, Runner will be required to make daily visits to her doctors and therapists for pulmonary rehabilitation. Following a series of successful rehabilitation programs, Runner is expected to return to the Capitol by late spring.
Runner expressed appreciation to the anonymous donor for their final act of humanity.
“Without this person’s generosity, I would not be able to continue my community activism and public service. This person’s family and friends will always be in my prayers.”
Limited scleroderma, or CREST syndrome, is an autoimmune condition affecting the body’s connective tissue. The purpose of the body’s immune system is to fight infection and disease; however, with limited scleroderma, the immune system attacks the healthy connective tissue as well. For more information, please visit the Scleroderma Foundation’s website at www.scleroderma.org.
About United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.
Each day, an average of 75 people receive organ transplants according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Over 8.7 million Californians are registered donors. To give the gift of life, residents can sign up at DonateLifeCalifornia.org or simply mail in the pink donation registration card in their DMV renewal packet.
About the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
The UCLA lung transplant program provides comprehensive care and develops an individualized strategy to improve the quality of life for patients. The UCLA lung transplant program is Medicare certified.