Man Is First COVID Patient In Nebraska To Undergo Double-Lung Transplant

OMAHA–(KFOR Apr. 2)–In March, 31-year-old Jake Immick became the first Nebraskan to receive a double-lung transplant after having COVID-19.

He came down with COVID-19 and was hospitalized here in Lincoln in November.  Immick talked to Dr. Bill Johnson, who treated him for COVID at Bryan East Campus in Lincoln, on what his options were and finally in January, Dr. Johnson offered the double-lung transplant.

“He had gotten through the inflammatory part of COVID, but he was left with end-stage lung disease,” Dr. Johnson said.  That would have meant Immick likely being on a ventilator the rest of his life and after hearing that news, Immick opted for the transplant.

Doctors at UNMC performed the operation. Dr. Heather Strah, a transplant pulmonologist at Nebraska Medicine, said Immick had to lose a little weight and get into better shape before the procedure.

“He was walking with six to eight people around him at all times with a ventilator with 100% and low-oxygen saturation, because he was not willing to give up,” Dr. Strah said.

Immick says he’s feeling better each day since the procedure. He will stay in Omaha for three months to do rehab.