Vanderbilt University Medical Center performed a dual heart-lung transplant of a COVID-19 patient in September, according to local media reports.

Vanderbilt says the patient, described as a young man, had cardiomyopathy – a disease of the heart tissue that can lead to heart failure – before he contracted COVID-19 in June.

The procedure, which was completed on Sept. 24, was also Vanderbilt’s first heart-lung transplant since 2006. Ashish Shah, MD, professor and chair of Cardiac Surgery, performed the complex surgery, along with Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA, associate professor of Thoracic Surgery.

Shah said the patient’s battle with COVID-19 seriously damaged his lungs and may have also further damaged his heart. By September, he was critically ill with advanced heart and lung disease. He was referred to VUMC from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

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