Davey Bauer, 34, was in need of a double lung transplant after years of smoking followed by brutal antibiotic-resistance infections ruined both his lungs. Dr. Ankit Bharat and the medical team at Northwestern Medicine removed Bauer's infected lungs, cleaned his chest cavity, and used parts of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to create artificial blood channels. The problem is that Bauer's infection needed to clear before he could receive donor lungs and there was nothing in his chest cavity to keep his heart in place.
"When the patient turns, it can fall on one side and so forth and kink everything, so we had to create a mechanism to just keep the heart in the center," Bharat said.
To stabilize the heart's position, they temporarily inserted double-D breast implants into Bauer's chest. Despite the inherent risks, the entire process, from lung removal to the transplant with donor lungs, took only a few days. Bauer's recovery was remarkable, and by June, he was sitting up and breathing independently with his new lungs.
By June, Bauer was already sitting up, and he was able to breathe on his own for a few hours at a time, according to the family's Gofundme page. By mid-June, he was off his breathing machines and breathing with his new lungs.
It took several months in intensive care to recover, but by late September, he was healthy enough to be discharged and to continue with therapy in a rehab facility outside the hospital[…]
He told the doctors at Northwestern that he's changing all his gaming profiles and getting a t-shirt made with his new nickname: "DD Davey."