Sunday, July 6, 2003

Double lung transplant offers hope for recovery

By Anna Guido
Enquirer contributor

Kelly Eads-Stumpf
In a barely audible tone, Kelly Eads-Stumpf said she feels "wonderful" after a double lung transplant June 11 that saved her life.

The 2000 Lemon-Monroe High School graduate was diagnosed in August 2001 with bronchiectasis, a chronic condition of the lungs that structurally weakens the airways.

"I can breathe," Eads-Stumpf said. "It's just such a relief to breathe."

At 6:30 p.m. June 11, Eads-Stumpf was flown to the Cleveland Clinic from Hook Field Municipal Airport in Middletown and was in the operating room by 9 p.m. Eight and a half hours later, the 21-year-old had new lungs.

Bruce C. Trapnell, Eads-Stumpf's Cincinnati physician, said her lung disease was at an advanced stage and that the organs were fused to the rib cage.

"She's on the expected course following lung transplantation, but could have episodes of acute rejection," said Trapnell, an associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Rejection, if it occurs, "is not impossible to deal with," Trapnell said. But Eads-Stumpf also might face other health issues, including toxic side effects of anti-rejection drugs, immune system suppression and a recurrence of the disease.

Eads-Stumpf was on a waiting list for the lung transplant. June 11 was the second time in three weeks she had flown to Cleveland for the operation. The first set of donated lungs was not a good match.

Eads-Stumpf will remain in Cleveland for up to three months so doctors and nurses can monitor her health. She's staying in a hotel with her mother, Cindy Rotte of Liberty Township, and father, Bill Stumpf of Monroe.

"It's just such a treat to see my little girl breathe again without having to use oxygen, and to walk across the room without having to sit down and rest," Stumpf said.

The costs associated with Kelly Eads-Stumpf's double-lung transplant are expected to be astronomical, and include anti-rejection medications she'll have to take the rest of her life. Health insurance helped cover the cost of the surgery. Donations can be made to: The Kelly Eads-Stumpf Fund, U.S. Bank (account No. 239155864), 4221 Hamilton-Middletown Road, Hamilton, OH 45011; (513) 785-2200.


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