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Woman lives six days without her lungs

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by: Sarah Elsesser, Palm Beach Post

A Canadian woman was on her death bed when doctors decided to remove her lungs in order to save her life, The Guardian reported.

In April, Melissa Benoit, 32, arrived at a Toronto hospital after catching the flu. Her coughing was so bad that she fractured a rib. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria was sending her into septic shock, according to Newser.

Benoit, who was born with cystic fibrosis, was put on temporary life support, but her condition continued to deteriorate, The Guardian reported. This left doctors with only one option — remove her lungs, even though a transplant wasn’t ready.

“It was a difficult discussion because when we’re talking about something that had never to our knowledge been done before, there were a lot of unknowns,” Dr Niall Ferguson of the University Health Network, told The Guardian.

It took 13 people nine hours to remove Benoit’s lungs. From there, they hooked up Benoit’s heart to an artificial lung, which within minutes returned her blood pressure to normal. She stayed attached to the machine for six days until she received a successful lung transplant, according to Newser.

Benoit’s health is steadily improving and she is able to walk again, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

Benoit told Newser that doctors “pulled me back from the dead.”

Read more at The Guardian.

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