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Sioux Falls man gets double lung transplant after COVID

April 24, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls man has undergone a double lung transplant after suffering complications from COVID-19.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported Friday that 42-year-old Nathan Foote suffered severe pneumonia after contracting the disease in October. He suffered severe scarring in his lungs. Doctors said he get a double transplant or die in hospice care.

He was placed on the transplant list in February at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis. He was offered two potential matches but both fell through because of changes in the donors’ health.

He finally underwent the procedure April 10. The surgery lasted eight hours. A few days later he took his first breath on his own in six months.

Foote says he’s still in pain and he’s still easting through a feeding tube. He’s also trying to teach himself how to walk again.

“I didn’t think I’d ever make it this far,” he said. “I did my part even when they told me I was going to die, because I didn’t believe that.”