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Woman Survives 6 Days Without Lungs -- How?

Feb 01, 2017 07:15 AM EST

Melissa Benoit has managed to survive six days without lungs. How did it happen? According to reports, Benoit has been suffering from cystic fibrosis and for the last three years, she had been taking antibiotics to ward off chest infections. However, in early April 2016, she was brought into Toronto General Hospital's (TGH) Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU) because of a severe chest infection.

Science Daily said the infection got worse due to influenza she got just before her hospital admission. Her inflamed lungs began to fill with blood, pus and mucous, making breathing even harder than it already is as brought by the continuous coughing that fractured her rib.

"This was bold and very challenging, but Melissa was dying before our eyes," recalls Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, Surgeon-in-Chief of the Sprott Department of Surgery at University Health Network (UHN), in a statement. "We had to make a decision because Melissa was going to die that night. Melissa gave us the courage to go ahead."

The doctors said that she was on the verge of death when she came in, so they decided to make the bold move of removing her severely infected lungs. The procedure, which lasted nine hours and included 13 operating staff, involved having both of her lungs taken out and replacing it with a small portable, artificial lung connected to her heart. Benout had to endure six days before finally having a lung transplant.

"Having this transplant saved my life. If I didn't have it I would have died," she told Telegraph. "I wouldn't be here to see my daughter grow up, I wouldn't be here to grow old with my husband. These are things that I want so badly in life and I wouldn't have made it."

This is the first time removal of lungs in a drastic approach had been done, and the longest where a patient survived. Meanwhile, Fox News said she is set to receive a kidney from her mother, as hers were damaged during the tribulation.

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