Breath of Life
For Jackie Price, a young professional in Northern Virginia with a zest for life, a lung transplant at Inova has ushered in new hope
Three years ago, when Jackie Price began treatment for cystic fibrosis at the Inova Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program on Inova Fairfax Medical Campus (IFMC), she was determined to stay active. Her boundless optimism, the support from her family and the compassionate care she has received at IFMC since birth helped her to realize her dream.
But last June, all that changed when Jackie, 25, who works in the finance department of a European grocery chain, underwent routine sinus surgery. In the days following the procedure, she experienced severe respiratory problems requiring admission to the ICU. Her breathing was so impaired that Jackie had to be placed on a heart-lung (ECMO) machine. Because of the severity of her illness, Jackie’s doctor, pulmonary disease specialist Whitney Brown, MD, Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Inova, recommended a lung transplant.
Back to Normal
Jackie was only on the transplant list for four days when donor lungs became available. Due to the severity of her illness, her recovery lasted longer than usual, but the outcome has been transformative.
“When I first woke up I could only move my fingers, but now I can walk on my own. I go to the gym twice a week to lift weights and ride a stationary bike. I walk at the mall, climb stairs and go to physical therapy,” says Jackie. “I’m breathing without difficulty now, because pre-transplant my cystic fibrosis caused shortness of breath. Now I can just take in a deep breath and it feels amazing.”
Jackie credits Dr. Brown and the team of physicians, nurse coordinators, dieticians, social workers, respiratory therapists, nurses and technicians who were so helpful during her hospital stay. The staff even coordinated a party with 20 of Jackie’s friends to celebrate her 25th birthday.
“Everybody was really helpful. You could tell they really cared about me,” says Jackie. “Dr. Brown is an awesome doctor. She’s always there to help me if I have questions and I can call her about anything.”
Award-Winning Cystic Fibrosis Program
In January, the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus was named a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation CF Care Center. The Cystic Fibrosis Center is a combined effort of the Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program and Inova Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the Pediatric Lung and Allergy Center. This status is one of four designations IFMC’s Advanced Lung Disease Program has earned, making it one of only seven centers nationwide to hold all four. The additional designations are: accreditation by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association as a Center of Comprehensive Care, recognition as a Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center and being named an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Clinical Resource Center by the Alpha-1 Foundation. In addition, IFMC is one of 67 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-accredited lung transplant centers.
Jackie Price tells her story in this short documentary produced by Steven Blue:
To learn more about the Inova Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program, visit inova.org/lung. To schedule a new patient appointment, call 703-776-6168.